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Salute: A Game to Reinforce Math Facts

written by: Elizabeth Porter • edited by: Laurie Patsalides • updated: 8/10/2012

Want to something to reinforce math facts, namely, multiplication or addition facts with your students? Forget the traditional worksheets that no one enjoys. Learn in this article how to play a fun classroom game that your students will be begging to play.

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    What Is Salute? What Materials Do I Need?

    Salute is a game that is simple in its materials and its directions! The game is played just like the name implies. Numeral cards are "saluted" to an opposing student. One student acts as the announcer of the sum or product while the other two students, who salute each other, are the addends or factors. Students race to figure out which number they are holding.

    For materials all you need is a deck of numeral cards for every three students. If you don't have numeral cards then you can use a deck of playing cards. If you use playing cards then the jack becomes 11, queen becomes 12, kings become 0, and ace becomes 1.

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    How to Play

    • Get enough numeral cards or playing cards for the whole class. If you have 24 students, then you will need 8 decks.
    • Split your class into groups of three. You may have one or two students remaining. If that is the case, then have a group or two with four people. The fourth person can observe and help be a judge in cases of ties.
    • Since there are so many questions that come up with this game, you should have the whole class watch one group play.
    • Each group gets a deck of cards. The deck is then split in half. One student gets a half and another student the other half. These students are known as the addends/factors.
    • The addends/factors take the top card off of their deck and hold it up by their forehead. They may need a try or two to do this without sneaking a peek at what card they have. Both students should be facing each other with the third student able to see both cards. It'll end up looking like they are sitting in a triangle formation.
    • The third student will be the sum/product (depending on whether you play for addition facts or multiplication facts). The student announces the sum or product of the two cards being "saluted." They should use the vocabulary by saying, "The sum is..." or "The product is..."
    • For lower level students, you can give them a multiplication chart or calculator to use as they play.
    • The student who guesses the card they are holding first wins both cards. The student with the most cards at the end wins. Then you rotate jobs.

    My "House" Rules

    • When using this game for multiplication and including 0 in the deck, if an opponent sees that the other card is a 0 they can say, "Any number" since any number times 0 will have a product of 0.
    • In the event of a tie, addends/factors keep their own card.
    • In a limited time, I give each game a set amount of time. Then I rotate so that everyone gets to be the "sum/product."

Classroom Games

Looking for some fun, interactive, learning games for your classroom? These games will reinforce classroom learning and increase social interaction among the students in your class!
  1. Play This Memory Game to Review For Any Test
  2. Salute: A Game to Reinforce Math Facts
  3. Break up Boredom and Break Out Boggle in the Middle School Classroom