We shuffled the deck and put the pile next to his paper. He would flip over two cards, write those values in the spaces, then choose whether to use multiplication, division, addition, or subtraction to find an answer. Then he wrote the answer.
This was a great exercise for three reasons:
1. It was fun for him to write his own questions and he loves using the cards.
2. It made him consider the answer to all four of the problems, before he chose one to write down. He most wanted to use division, since that to him is the coolest, so he would be happy if he pulled, for example, a king and a 4, so he could divide twelve by four.
3. He got to test me a little -- on the last few he did, he left the operation circle blank, and asked me which operation he had used. Rather than hesitating to give him the answer, I cheerfully participated in my part of the quiz, because he already had to have figured it out, to be asking me.
I want to do this exercise again, and I made a printable math game page for future use, which I will share with you.
This could be used in different ways -- the kid could fill in the numbers and quiz you on which operation was used, you could use it blank with a deck of cards like we did, or you could use it to solve for X if you leave just one of the spaces blank and give the answers. Hope it's useful!
Here's an image preview of the page, click on it or the link above for the print-friendly web page:
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