These games are thought provoking and very engaging. They encourage discussion of place value, and strategic mathematical thinking.
The following printable worksheets may be useful: Nice or Nasty - Instructions Sheet
Nice or Nasty - Scoring Sheet
These games can be played with 1-6 die but ideally would be played with a decahedral 0-9 dice or spinner. The dice in Dice and Spinners
can be used to simulate dice.
Ask the students to each draw a set of four boxes. Throw the dice and ask them to place the number in any of the boxes. Do this three more times. Then ask who has the largest four digit number. What would you have done differently if you knew in advance you were trying to make the biggest number?
Play the game again several times drawing out strategies that the students use.
Working in pairs, set the students off on playing game 1.
When appropriate, move onto the other games clarifying the targets and scoring system for each.
Why are some cells more significant than others?
Start with two, then three boxes, before moving onto four. Choose the easiest scoring system or allow calculators for scoring the more difficult version. Allow pairs of students to play against other pairs, so that they can support each other.
You may wish to move the students on to Dicey Operations in Line
or Dicey Operations
(the former might be more suitable for primary learners; the latter for secondary students).