Monday, February 17, 2014

Mental Math Game: I Have, You Need

In the context of our curriculum, Bridges Second Edition, we've been introduced to a quick, easy new game: I Have, You Need. The premise is simple and can be played with a pair of students or with an entire class.

1. Set a target number.
2. Call out "I have ________ (a number)."
3. Someone responds with "You need __________ (a number)."

I quickly do this with the entire class. Here are some examples:

Numbers to 100
Teacher: I have 22. (point to a student)
Student: You need 78.

Numbers to 10
Teacher: I have 7.
Student: You need 3.

Fractions to 1
Teacher: I have 4/8.
Student: You need 4/8. (Or 1/2.)

Decimals (as we're doing now!)
Teacher: I have 0.15
Student: You need 0.85.

Students can also pose problems for one other, taking turns with the questions/answers.

This has become a wonderful, quick tool to assess fluency. To provide students additional practice in mental math, try using the free, online game, Numberbond. Choose a target number of 5, 10, 100, or set your own number.


  1. I like your use of this game for decimals, which isn't something that immediately came to mind for me. As another option to Numberbond, if you're looking for differentiation for your more advanced learners, you may want to try "Add Up": it's a simple game where you need to match up two or more moving numbered balls to add up to 10, but it requires very quick mental math skills (

    Glenn Laniewski
    Latest post:
    Math teachers, start baking your Pi Day pies early

    1. Thanks, Glenn. That's a fun game. I try to look for sites with little to no advertising for my students. Do you think it's offered anywhere else?


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