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Math Games
With Jane and Joanne




Grade 1 and up


  • addition to 12
  • counting on from larger numbers
  • immediate recall


  • 3 or more


  • 2 dice
  • playing cards with the King, Ace, and Jokers removed; Jack = 11 points and Queen = 12


Each player is dealt seven cards. The remainder of the deck is placed face down in the center of the playing area.

The first player rolls the two dice and adds together the numbers represented on them. If the player has that number among the cards in hand, he places down the card or cards.

For example:
If the dice total is 11, then the player might place down a Jack (=11) or he might place down a combination of cards that adds up to 11 (a 6 and a 5, for example, or a 3, 4 and 4).
If the player does not have that number, he says ZAP! Whenever a player calls out ZAP!, that signals all the other players to place down their card(s) that add up to the total on the dice. Any player can put down their card(s), but only the first player to finish placing down their card(s) is allowed to keep them down. Other players must return their card(s) to their hands.

The roller always draws one more card after his turn is over. Players who participate in the ZAP! round do not pick up another card.

For subsequent rounds, alternate the player who will roll the dice. Play continues until one player has no cards left in hand. That player is the winner.


Grades 3 and up: The roll of the dice is made into a 2-digit number. (For example, if a player rolls a 4 and a 6, those dice can be used to create the number 46.) Players must place down 4 and 6. If that player does not have the 4 and 6 combination in their hand, they say ZAP!

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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