I love playing countdown with my classes every now and then. Generally I give students longer than they would get in the real game and encourage them to think about different ways to get close to a number using fewer numbers so they can then hit the target number by using the remaining numbers.

EG: if they have a target of 836 and they have the numbers: 8, 50, 2, 4, 3, 1

Rather than finding 8 times 50 times 2 then trying to make 36 from 1, 3, 4

See if they can find 836 by doing 8 times (50 times 2 add 4) this way we reach 832

Students thought this was clever but they weren’t comfortable doing it in practice so I thought I’d give them a different task. I slimmed down the numbers and added more targets. I want to see how many they can make.

A student asked for help during a game of countdown so I gave him some “clues” (calculations)