This lesson is one of many math activities posted on my teaching website.
Calendar Cover-Up Game
Can be used for all learners. Differentiate to fit your grade level. This game is played on the last school day of every month.
Hold up two cards (Jacks = 11, Queens = 12, Kings = 13, Aces can be used as 1 or 0)
Have the teams write as many different number sentences as they can to equal a date on the calendar within two minutes (for example, if I hold up a 4 and a 6, students can write number sentences for 6+4=10, 6-4=2, 6x4=24, 4x6=24, 4+6=10). Both cards must be used.
Hold up their whiteboards and check for accuracy. Credit is only given if a complete number sentence is written. A point is awarded to each team for each correct number sentence.
An index card is placed over the number(s) on the calendar that were given as correct answers (in the above example, 10, 2, and 24 would be covered). These dates/numbers are no longer available to use as sums, differences, products or quotients. This is where it starts to get tough.
As the calendar begins to get halfway covered, I will start to hold up 3 cards at a time. All cards must be used. This allows students to use multiple addends, parenthesis, etc. to form their number sentences. Excellent differentiation. Ace, 5 and 4 could be written as:
(0 x 5) + 4 = 4
(5 - 1) x 4 = 16
5 + 1 - 4 = 2
5 x (4 + 1) = 25
5. I end the game when the calendar is mostly covered-up by allowing each team to earn a point for a creative way of showing the remaining numbers, whether by drawing a polygon with that many sides, showing it as a square number, a number sentence, Roman numerals, etc. You can really see their growth in number sense as the students become more adept at manipulating numbers throughout the year.