Foxy Fives – cuz it’s better than Four Fours

Foxy Fives is my Day 21 lesson (actually a game) that I got from this book. The teacher is supposed to make a deck of 62 cards from posterboard, the cards are marked from 1 to 25, and blah, blah, blah. For the life of me, I don’t know why you’d need a deck of cards at all to “play” this game because the instruction TELLS YOU to deal yourself a specific set of cards for each round, like cards numbered 1, 5, 3, 6, and 10. There, I just dealt myself a hand — see, ma, no cards needed!

Other than that ridiculousness, it’s actually a great lesson for students to apply the order of operations to a set of numbers.

The game has three sheets. And just for YOU, I’d completely retyped them to remove the silly language about dealing out cards. Here are foxy_fives_sheet_1 and foxy_fives_sheet_2 — I save these for my 6th graders.

The 8th graders get this more challenging (thus, more fun) foxy_fives_sheet_3.

1I had kids work in groups of three on the large whiteboards — and if you don’t have these, what the hell are you waiting for??? I swear if the fire alarm goes off at our school, these are the first things I’m grabbing. The children can fend for themselves.


You can tell from Sheet 3 that it’s asking the kids for more. It’s great to do this after we just discussed number systems. The kids struggled and struggled. (Quite a lovely thing to bear witness to.) Most groups found a couple. One group found the first five!

Also, I was very clear about them reporting their answers like this:

3And NOT like this:

4My next plan is to put each of the 10 questions onto a large poster paper and put these up around the room. I will encourage kids to contribute their solutions to each problem over time. It’s good for them to see that there are many solutions possible. And, they can also check others’ work for correctness! Such a nguyen-nguyen if I ever saw one. (When I left a local high school position, the students’ newspaper did a story on me, they titled it, “Students Find Themselves In a No Nguyen Situation.” So cute.)

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