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Mathematics Magazine for Grades 1-12  

 

Power Struggle Game

 

Jodie Champagne-6th, 7th, 8th Grade Math/Science/Computer Teacher-Ascension Day School Middle School-Lafayette, Louisiana Web: www.jodiechampagne.com/class

 

I came up with a fun way to work with exponents and it incorporates calculator practice.  I call it Power Struggle. 

POWER STRUGGLE

2 Players

2 Dice (preferably different colors, advanced players may use dice with numbers up to 10)

1 +/- cube

1 Score Card

Player 1

Player 2

1.  1000

1.  1000

2. 

2.

3.

3.

4.

4.

5.

5.

6.

6.

7.

7.

8.

8.

9.

9.

10.

10.

Objective: To get more points than yours opponent.

Directions: Both players begin with 1000 points.  Player one rolls both dice.  (3) (5)  He/she must decide if he wants to go with 3 to the 5th power or 5 to the 3rd power.  

Both students use a calculator (for calculator practice) to solve 3 to the 5th power by pressing 35 = and then solve 53 = for 5 cubed.  If the student is a risk taker, he/she may go with the higher value, if he/she is conservative, he/she may go with the lower value. 

Once the student decides on a value, he/she rolls the +/- cube.  He/she must add or subtract the value he/she chose from 1000 on his/her score card.  Player two also records player one's score. 

Ex:  He/she chooses 3 to the 5th power because it is 243 and is higher than 53 which is 125.  Player one rolls a "--" so he/she must subtract 3 to the 5th from 1000, but in EXPONENTIAL form.  (see score card below.)

Player 1

Player 2

1.  1000 - 35 = 757

1.  1000

2.  757

2.

3.

3.

4.

4.

5.

5.

6.

6.

7.

7.

8.

8.

9.

9.

10.

10.

Player one's round 2 will begin with this total.

Player two's turn. 

Follow same steps as player one and add or subtract from 1000.  The new total is what he/she starts with in round 2.

The player with the most points at the end of round 10 wins.  

Students may encounter negatives so they should know how to operate with integers mentally for reasonable answers and should know how to use the negative button on a calculator instead of the subtraction button.

Students should become familiar with calculator operations, with recognizing powers with small digits, realize that a large exponent doesn't always mean a larger value, subtracting from a negative value takes you even farther away from zero.