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Math Games
With Jane and Joanne

Climb the Ladder to 100



Grades 1 - 3


  • place value
  • adding numbers to 100
  • vertical addition


  • 2


  • playing cards Ace (= 1) through 9
  • paper and pencil
  • 100's Board (optional)


Player 1 turns over a card and records the number on his paper. Player 2 turns over the next card and records the number on her paper. Players continue to alternate turning over cards; they record each number on their papers as a running vertical addition math problem.

Player 1 turns over a card with the number 6 on it. The next turn he turns over a 5. On his third turn he turns over an 8. The math problem that results looks like this:
+ 5

+ 8

The first player to reach a total of exactly 100 is the winner. Players must wait for the turn of the card that equals exactly 100.
For example, in order to win, a player with a total of 98 must turn over a card with the number 2 on it; or she must turn over two Aces (=1) on subsequent turns.)

Cards are reused until one player reaches 100.

Players may need counters or a 100's Board to help them find their sums.


At grades 1 and 2, students might use a die instead of playing cards. At grade 3, you might increase the game's difficulty by using two dice.

Joanne Currah and Jane Felling have created two best-selling math game books -- Shuffling Into Math (for teachers of grades K-3) and All Hands on Deck (grades 1-9). Each book includes simple instructions for more than 100 math games that help children discover math concepts and reinforce math skills. Education World is pleased to present a selection of those activities in this series.

Click to learn more about these books and other exciting products and service from Joanne and Jane's Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks.

More About Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks

Joanne Currah and Jane Felling created their company, BOX CARS & ONE-EYED JACKS, for the sole purpose of making math fun -- not threatening or frustrating -- for children. Joanne and Jane spend many days each year on the road as they train teachers to make math fun for kids and run Family Math Nights at schools. To learn more about the authors, their books, and the services they provide, visit them at or email them at [email protected].

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