Swap Meet is an intriguing game which challenges students to understand patterns of arithmetic sequences. As the die is rolled, students build columns that represent each number in the sequence. The colors don’t have a special significance here. The interesting twist in this game is that if a column is not completely finished to represent a specific number, an opposing player can take tiles off that column.
Just when you think you’re going to have a column built and move onto the next one, one of the opposing players decides to use his or her spin to take tiles off your construction! It’s frustrating but it’s part of the fun as well since when a player makes that choice he or she can’t use that roll of the die to construct the finished sequence he or she is building.
There are an infinite number of possibilities for playing this game because there are an unlimited number of arithmetic sequences to try. In fact, after students have had enough experience playing the game you can have teams write out patterns for their opponents to attempt. As students get more experienced with the game you may want to try some more sophisticated patterns, such as the Fibonacci sequence (it’s listed as one of the adaptations in the instructions).
This game can be used as an ice breaker for a unit on arithmetic sequences or an in-depth study of the Fibonacci sequence in mathematics and in nature. For more advanced students you can add geometric sequences to the game as well.
Common Core Mathematical Standards
4.OA Generate and analyze patterns.
Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice
7. Look for and make use of structure.