High-Low-Medium Poker: Decimals, Fractions and Percentages Games


I also sell this game on TeachersPayTeachers.

High-Low-Medium Poker: An Engaging Activity to Teach Decimals, Fractions, and Percentages

As educators, we’re always searching for creative strategies to facilitate learning. We know our students best; their interests, their needs, their strengths, and their weaknesses. It’s a constant challenge to keep them engaged, especially when it comes to teaching topics like decimals, fractions, and percentages, which many students find abstract and intimidating.

This is where High-Low-Medium Poker steps in – a simple yet exciting game that seamlessly combines the thrill of a card game with the essence of mathematical learning. This game is a great math activity for teaching and reinforcing the understanding of decimals, fractions, and percentages in an interactive, hands-on, and student-centered way.

The magic of High-Low-Medium Poker is that it’s not only a fantastic learning tool, but it also encourages social skills like cooperation, critical thinking, and strategizing. Furthermore, this game can easily be modified or adapted to meet the unique needs of diverse learners.

Gameplay Instructions:

Setting Up the Game:

To start, ensure you have your deck of Decimal, Fraction & Percentage cards. The number of cards in the deck depends on the number of players participating. It’s recommended that there are enough cards to ensure at least 10 rounds of play.

The Rules:

  1. Getting Started: After shuffling the cards, the first round of play begins on the dealer’s left and continues clockwise around the table. The dealer places two cards face up in the center of play.
  2. Making A Guess: The first player then evaluates the two exposed cards and makes a guess as to whether the next card from the deck will be of the highest, lowest, or intermediate value compared to these two cards. For example, if the first two cards are “10%” and “1/4”, it is most likely that the next card will be the highest of the three.
  3. Revealing the Card & Scoring: After the player declares his/her guess, the dealer shows the next card. If the player’s guess is correct, that player receives all three cards. If the player’s guess is incorrect, the cards are discarded. If the third card is of equal value to one of the first two, the player loses three cards (if he/she has won any) and must discard them along with the three exposed cards.
  4. Continuing the Game: Play continues until all cards are played from the deck. Afterwards, the players count up the number of cards they have collected. The player with the most cards wins the round.
  5. Starting A New Round: The game continues if all players agree. The first player now becomes the dealer, and play restarts in the same manner.

Gameplay Scenarios:

Let’s consider a gameplay scenario for clarity:

The dealer turns over two cards, which read ‘50%’ and ‘0.75’. The first player, considering the values, declares that the next card will be ‘Low’. The dealer reveals the next card, which is ‘1/3’. As ‘1/3’ is lower than ‘50%’ and ‘0.75’, the first player collects all three cards. The next player then takes their turn, and the game continues.

Accommodations and Modifications:

High-Low-Medium Poker is a flexible activity that can easily be adapted to accommodate a variety of learning needs:

  1. Level of Difficulty: To make the game simpler, you can begin with only fraction cards or decimal cards. As students become more confident, gradually introduce the remaining card types.
  2. Pace of Play: To cater to students who may need additional processing time, you can allow extra time for evaluating the cards and making decisions.
  3. Peer Support: Pairing students with mixed ability levels can be beneficial, with the stronger math student helping to guide and support their partner.
  4. Visual Aids: For students who are visual learners, provide a fraction-decimal-percentage conversion chart to assist in their decision making.

Real-life Examples:

Incorporating real-life examples and connections can be incredibly beneficial in enhancing students’ understanding and engagement. For example, discuss how these concepts apply in shopping scenarios, like calculating discounts, or in sports, like understanding batting averages in baseball.

In conclusion, High-Low-Medium Poker is a flexible, fun, and engaging method to master decimals, fractions, and percentages. It’s much more than just a game, it’s an opportunity for students to embrace math in a supportive, interactive, and real-world context.

Finally, it’s important to note that the game aligns with the following Common Core State Standards (CCSS):

  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.NF.C.6: Use decimal notation for fractions with denominators 10 or 100.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.NF.B.3: Interpret a fraction as division of the numerator by the denominator.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.RP.A.3.C: Find a percent of a quantity as a rate per 100.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.3: Use proportional relationships to solve multistep ratio and percent problems.

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a new teacher, don’t hesitate to bring High-Low-Medium Poker into your classroom. It’s a surefire way to add excitement, engagement, and deep learning to your math lessons. Let’s deal the cards and let the math fun begin!

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