Search form

Math Games
With Jane and Joanne

Junior Star Traveler



Grade 1 and up


  • adding and subtracting to 10
  • problem solving


    Students can play this game on their own (solitaire style), in pairs, or in cooperative groups.


    • playing cards Ace (=1) through 6 (24 cards in all)
    • 1 die
    • pencil


      The object of this game is for pairs or groups of students to work together to take away all of the cards before coloring in all five points on a star.

      Players build a 6 x 4 grid of playing cards; all cards appear face up. The cards might look like the illustration that appears a bit farther down this page.

      A player rolls the die. The player may take away any card or combination of cards that equals the die and that appears at the bottom of any column of cards. Players work together as members of a team or cooperative group to figure out what the best play will be. Addition, subtraction, or a combination of operations can be used, but a maximum of only three (3) cards can be removed in one turn.

      Example The player rolls a 5, so he takes the cards 1 (Ace) and 4 from bottom. This move leaves 5, 2, 4, and 2 exposed (as the bottom cards in each column) for the next roll. Another choice might have been to remove the 1, 2 and 2.

      In the event that a card or combination of cards cannot be found to equal the number on the die, players color in one point on their star.

      Play continues until all cards are removed or all five points on the star are colored.

      As players gain more experience with this game, they will develop more strategies to maximize their chances to win. Begin with number recognition, then move when students are ready to adding combinations, subtracting combinations, and mixed operations.

      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].

      Education World®
      Copyright © 2006 Education World