Please May I Have
Years 2 - 6
A game for two players, each with a calculator.
This game is special because it emphasises the use of good manners when you ask for something. An adult might be needed to help introduce the game.
- One calculator each (there's one on your phone)
- Write the title of this challenge and today's date on a fresh page in your maths journal.
How To Play Please May I Have
At this point Player A would subtract 50 from his/her total and Player B would add 50 to his/hers.
|The game makes a point of correctly using place value language. For example, instead of saying the number in the photo is three-five-two, players would say three hundred and fifty-two.
- The game is played by two (2) players, each with their own calculator.
- Players secretly enter a number in a chosen range, say 100 - 999.
For example the player in the photo has entered 352 (three hundred and fifty-two).
- Players take turns to ask for a digit that they hope will be on the other player's screen.
- If one of the opponent's digits is guessed the opponent must state the value of the digit.
Suppose Player A has 352 on the screen and Player B asks:
Please may I have a 5?
Player A must answer:
Yes, you may have 5 tens.
Then it would be Player A's turn to ask.
But, suppose Player A has 352 on the screen and Player B asks:
Please may I have a 9?
Player A must answer:
Sorry, I don't have one.
At this point both screens stay the same. Then it would be Player A's turn to ask.
Keep playing until one player either reaches a screen above 999 (nine hundred and ninety-nine) and wins,
or a screen below 100 and loses.
- If a player has more than one of the digits requested, they may give any one without revealing that they have others.
Have fun exploring Please May I Have.
We suggest it is used at least three (3) times a week for about fifteen (15) minutes over several weeks.
Make the game more challenging, especially for older learners, by asking questions like:
- What happens if ... we start with a range from 750 to 1,250?
- What happens if ... we start with a range from 0·1 to 10?
What would your screen look like if it was smaller than 0·1?
Just Before You Finish
Answer this question in your maths journal.
- What do you know now that you didn't know when you started Please May I Have?
Answers & Discussion
These notes were originally written for teachers. We have included them to support parents to help their child learn from Please May I Have.
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Maths At Home is a division of Mathematics Centre