Sunday, May 17, 2015

Walk the Plank!

Hey everyone!  It's Aimee from Primarily Speaking.
I'm popping in today to share one of my favorite partner math games with you! It's an oldie, but goodie. You know, one of those ideas that's passed on from teacher to teacher over the years (which is how I learned about it).  It's called Walk the Plank.  Cool name, right?  Not only does it have a great name, but it is easy to set up and the kids love, love, love it!  It is a great way to help students reinforce and practice their addition facts.  And, it gives them more practice with following rules and working with others.  Win, win!

For this partner game you will need some paint sticks. I sent my hubby to Lowe's one day and they gave him about 10 (for free...even though he didn't buy any paint).  Nice!  Number each stick as shown.

I recommend using the longer paint sticks.  My first set was made with the shorter ones and while they did the job, the numbers were really squished together.

You will also need some number cubes to match the numbers on your plank.  Mine are numbered 5 through 10.  I used blank wooden cubes and simply numbered them with a Sharpie. Easy peasy!  To play, the students will need two number cubes.

As you can see, the two players will also need some linking cubes. Each player places an individual cube next to each of the numbers on the plank.  They will need 11 linking cubes each. Note: you could use any small object as a game piece.

To play, Player 1 rolls the number cubes and adds their two numbers together.  So, let's say that Player 1 (yellow cubes) rolls a 6 and a 7.  They would add these numbers together and get a sum of 13.  Player 1 would then take the cube next to the number 13 on Player 2's side (purple cubes).  That's what the kids love. They get to take the other player's game pieces!

Play continues in this fashion until one player collects all of the other player's cubes.  It starts getting tricky near the end because the students only have a few numbers left on the plank and they can't control what they roll.  But, guess what, each time they roll they are practicing their math facts. They are learning without even realizing it.  It's the best!!

The numbers shown above work for my second graders, but maybe you'd like to differentiate.  Go for it!  You can label your plank and cubes with whatever numbers you want!  You could also use dice and number your plank from 2 to 12.

Have fun!


  1. I can see this going well for my firsties, too! I love how simple the supplies are!

  2. Can't wait to use this next year with my 2nds! They are going to love it and it will be great later as a fast finisher task!