Something about using playing cards makes working with numbers seem like a game instead of just a series of calculations to complete on paper. The Not So Common Multiples Gametakes advantage of the fun of playing cards to teach kids multiples and to give them practice with addition as an extra bonus. At the beginning of the game, each player will turn over three cards from the deck to determine his or her target number. The sum of these three cards will be the target number for this round of the game.

For the rest of this round of the game, players will start turning over cards and collecting cards needed to put together a new sum. The answer to the new sum has to be a multiple of the target number. So if the first three cards turned over by the first player add to the number 15, the new sum that that player will be drawing cards to create must be a multiple of 15, either 30, 45, 60, etc. Scratch paper is a good idea so that students can keep track of their sums as they gain new cards.

If students are still struggling with larger numbers or with the concept of multiples, it’s a good idea, as suggested in the Adaptation list, to let them work with two cards instead of three to begin with. Once you can see they are starting to relax and have fun, you can get them started with the three-card entry into the game.

Common Core Mathematical Standards 6.NS Compute fluently with multi-digit numbers and find common factors and multiples.