Big Toe Noughts & CrossesYears 2  8SummaryNoughts & Crosses, or TicTacToe as it is sometimes known, is a game every child knows. The aim of the game is to be first with three counters in a row  horizontally, vertically or diagonally  to win. The attraction seems to be that you can sometimes win  of course you can sometimes loses to, but at other times you can draw and that is almost as good as winning. However when the question 'Is there a winning strategy?' is investigated is turns out that the game should also be a draw. That's very fair, but not very interesting. So, what happens if we add an extra place to the game and create Big Toe Noughts & Crosses? 
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IcebergA task is the tip of a learning iceberg. There is always more to a task than is recorded on the card. 
When analysing a game it must be assumed it is being played by the two best possible players. It's one thing to win a game by chance, or against a week player, but another thing entirely to win against the best possible opponent. With this approach it can be seen that standard Os & Xs should be a draw every time.
So, this game is not fair. But it does produce a win. Is it an improvement on Os & Xs? 
Whole Class InvestigationTasks are an invitation for two students to work like a mathematician. Tasks can also be modified to become whole class investigations which model how a mathematician works. 
If you are using Menu Maths Packs one between two in your class, you have sufficient material to use this menu item as a whole class investigation. Today we are all going to choose Big Toe Os & Xs from the menu.The purpose in doing so would be to model Working Mathematically. Structure the lesson in a similar way to the outline above, and encourage students to record and perhaps publish their analysis. PowerPoint, or a sequence of photos, might be useful publishing tools. Extension

Is it in Maths With Attitude?Maths With Attitude is a set of handson learning kits available from Years 310 which structure the use of tasks and whole class investigations into a week by week planner. 
Big Toe Os & Xs is not in any Maths With Attitude kit, but it is part of Poly Plug Game Pack resource book. This publication focuses on contentfree reasoning based on four families of games, each of which has four variations. The Noughts & Crosses family is one of those families. 