Integer Card Game

Our Math 7 class is almost ready to start Module 2. This purely numerical unit is all about learning the rules of integers. Before the curriculum changed for grade 7, this unit was how we kicked off grade 7 after reviewing all our positive number rules. I’m excited to start this unit! (Scroll to the bottom to see pictures and video of us playing).

The Engage New York curriculum introduces a card game that is used throughout much of module 2. They provide cards for the standard integers and they suggest modifications for kids needing the support of counters or a number line. However, they don’t provide the modified cards. I made a full set of cards for each type that I’ve shared here. My hope is that the kids who start needing counters can move to the number line and then to the unsupported card version as we go through the unit.

I hope you find these cards helpful. I plan to copy and laminate enough sets for groups of 3-4 to play, and have a couple of sets of the cards with number lines and counters. If you are a parent of a 7th grader reading this and wish to use them at home, you can either copy them onto regular paper and laminate them or print them on a slightly heavier paper and use them without laminating.

Integer Cards

Rules of the Game

The Integer Game is designed for 2 to 4 players. Each player begins the game with a score of zero. The object of the game is to return to a score of zero by picking up and discarding integer cards. The number of cards dealt to each player can be adjusted based on students’ familiarity with an operation and to differentiate for varying student ability levels. Below are the basic rules:

  1. A student serves as the dealer (as well as a player) and provides each player with four cards.
  2. The dealer turns one more card face up on the playing surface, starting a discard pile. The remaining cards become a draw pile.
  3. The player to the dealer’s left begins play. On his turn, a player may select the top card from either the draw pile or the discard pile. The player must keep this card and discard another card from his hand to the discard pile.
  4. A player’s goal is to have his hand’s total card value stay as close to zero as possible. So for each turn, a player must determine how the card drawn affects his hand’s total card value, by counting up or down accordingly. Also, a player must decide which card to discard so as to keep the total value of his hand as close to zero as possible.
  5. Play continues with the next player, in the same manner, until all players have picked up and discarded a card four times.
  6. The player(s) with a score of zero (or the closest to zero) wins the round.

Photos of us playing the game

Video from Math Lab

We created these videos thinking we’d use them to introduce the game to the class, BUT as we introduced the game we made some mistakes, and I realized that it would be easier to introduce by modeling in real life. However, it was a lot of fun to record and play so I thought I’d put them up here for the kids to be able to see them.