Lesson 6

Make Zero Rummy

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SWBAT add and subtract integers with purpose to create zero.

Big Idea

Use a card game to get students excited about combining integers to create zero.

Preparing Materials Ahead of Time

Use the integer cards template to print one full set of cards.  I allow students to play in groups of three to four players per deck.  With this many players, you will need two full copies of the card template per deck.  I try to use a multipack of brightly colored card stock.  I make two copies of the card template per color so that each set of the same color is one full deck and groups are not mixing decks of cards as they play (every deck is a unique color).    I also laminated my cards for durability.  Again, I utilize anyone I can get my hands to cut cards (family, friends, aids, office staff, parent volunteers, student helpers).  I usually store decks of cards in individual zip lock bags.  The heavier freezer bags are worth it for storing items students use on a regular basis.

Bellringer - Warm-up Option

20 minutes

Make Zero Rummy is a game that you can use as a warm-up activity throughout your solving equations unit.  The purpose of using this game is to get students thinking about combining like terms in order to create 0 (basically, cancel out adding or subtracting a term in an equation).  For example, when solving the equation 3x - 4 = 24, you would add four to each expression because -4 + 4 = 0 and the equivalent expression to 3x - 4 + 4 is simply 3x which is more helpful when trying to solve the equation.  3x = 28 is a much simpler equivalent equation to solve.  


The game boards include the rules of how many cards to deal, how to pick up a card to begin your turn, lay down zero matches, and then discard to end your turn.  If you are using this game as a bellringer, I would allow at least 20 minutes of class time the first day you begin using this game.  Over time, if you continue to use this as a warm-up activity, the students will become faster and 10 minutes may enough playing time.  

Full Review Lesson Option

30 minutes

If your students are new to working with integers, then you may choose to use the Make Zero Rummy an entire lesson.  My suggestion would be to have some sort of lesson prior to using the card game such as using two way counters to show that happens with you add a positive integer to a negative integer.  Or you could lie out a number line on the floor and have students walk up and down the number line to show how positive and negative numbers move you along the line.  I have used a number line before and given students foam hands (one green and one red) to help them think about positive and negative movement (I also played the song "Do the Hustle" as we danced up and down the number line).  There are many wonderful integer lesson plans in seventh grade, but if your students are new to the common core, they may not have much prior experience with these lessons.  You may find yourself needing to create some sort of mini-lesson on integers to teach a gap area as your school transitions into the new common core.

This game can be an engaging and quick portion of your mini-lesson and practice with integers.  I collect all game boards at the end of the class period as a formative assessment tool.  The rules of the game are on the boards but a quick explanation may be helpful and students should have a good prior knowledge of integers before beginning this game, or else students will be cheating without even realizing they are cheating.  

Also, if students are playing the game for an extended period of time, you could change the rules of the game half way through and say all matches must subtract to create 0 and give the activity more challenge.