Why is the number six so scared?

Why is the number six so scared?

Because seven eight nine!

Unleashing the Power of Play: A Comprehensive Guide to “Seven Eight Nine” – A Math Game for Enlightened Learning

Greetings, fellow educators and math enthusiasts! Today, we are about to embark on a journey through a fun-filled educational activity that will change your classroom dynamic and make mathematics exciting for your students. The activity, aptly named “Seven Eight Nine,” offers a unique blend of fun and learning, fostering an environment conducive to mathematical growth and comprehension.

“Why is the number six so scared? Because seven eight nine!” Yes, it’s a classic joke that has made rounds in classrooms across the world, but today we transform this humorous pun into an incredible learning tool.

“Seven Eight Nine” is not only an engaging math game but also a potent teaching instrument that effortlessly blends the essential mathematical principles with a spirit of friendly competition. This game will open the gates to the magical world of numbers, encouraging students to explore, experiment, and elevate their mathematical understanding.

Game Objective and Material

At its core, “Seven Eight Nine” challenges students to create mathematical equations from randomly drawn numbers, enhancing their arithmetic fluency and problem-solving skills.

Materials Needed:

  • A deck of number cards (0-9)
  • Timer
  • Score Sheets

Gameplay Instructions

Every successful educational activity needs clear instructions, and “Seven Eight Nine” is no different. Here’s how you play it:

  1. Each player draws three cards from the deck. The drawn numbers form a three-digit number. The order of drawing determines the number.
  2. The goal is to use arithmetic operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division) to make the number seven, eight, or nine from the three-digit number.
  3. If a player manages to make seven, eight, or nine, they earn points corresponding to the number they’ve made. For instance, if they’ve made a seven, they score seven points, and so forth.
  4. The game continues for a predetermined time, or until the deck is exhausted. The player with the highest score at the end of the game wins.

Gameplay Examples

Let’s dive into a few examples to understand the game better:

  1. Player A draws the numbers 3, 5, and 2. They could calculate 5 – 3 + 2 to make four, but unfortunately, that doesn’t score any points. They have to think of a different approach. If they rearrange to 5 – 2 + 3, they can make six. While six doesn’t score as high as seven, eight, or nine, it’s better than not scoring at all.
  2. Player B draws the numbers 6, 1, and 2. By using division and subtraction, they can calculate 6 ÷ 2 – 1 to make two. Unfortunately, no points are awarded.

This simple yet captivating gameplay not only encourages students to get creative with their numerical operations, but it also strengthens their mental arithmetic and problem-solving capabilities.

Accommodations and Modifications

One of the greatest advantages of “Seven Eight Nine” is its flexibility and adaptability. It can accommodate different learning styles and abilities, allowing every student to actively participate and enjoy the learning experience.


For students who need a little extra support, consider providing them with manipulatives like counters or number lines. These tools can help them visualize the operations better. Alternatively, allow these students extra time to complete their operations.


For advanced learners, consider adding a challenge by including decimal numbers, fractions, or negative numbers. Or raise the stakes by giving bonus points for creating complex equations using more operations.

The Impact of “Seven Eight Nine”

The impact of this simple yet ingenious game is far-reaching. It will nurture a positive learning environment and encourage students to embrace the beauty of mathematics. Students will develop a deep understanding of arithmetic operations and improve their problem-solving skills, while the friendly competition will keep them engaged and motivated.

“Seven Eight Nine” is not just about solving equations; it’s about breaking down the walls of math anxiety and replacing them with the pillars of math confidence and curiosity. It’s about empowering students to see mathematics as a tool to be harnessed and appreciated, not a hurdle to be feared.

Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

“Seven Eight Nine” aligns with several Common Core State Standards, providing a powerful tool to help achieve your educational objectives:

  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.B.5: Apply properties of operations as strategies to multiply and divide.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.NBT.A.2: Fluently add and subtract within 1000.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.NBT.B.4: Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.NBT.B.5: Fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers.

“Seven Eight Nine” is more than just a game – it’s a revolution in teaching math. By integrating this activity into your teaching regimen, you are not only providing an opportunity for your students to engage with math in an enjoyable way, but you’re also transforming the way they perceive and interact with numbers.

So, why not make learning mathematics a fun-filled journey rather than a tedious chore? Introduce “Seven Eight Nine” in your classroom today and experience the joy of teaching and learning math like never before. Together, let’s take steps towards fostering a love of numbers in our classrooms and beyond!

Happy Teaching!

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