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# Go Figure! The Equation Building Game

Go Figure! is a mathematical card game that was developed to make math fun for everyone!

An interview with the games’ creator – Alon Nir

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## What made you create this game?

When I was young, my brother and I would play Monopoly virtually day and night. My Dad didn’t think highly of Monopoly, so he developed his own games. They were a lot of fun, but they never went beyond our kitchen table.

Some time ago, my Dad and I got together and tried to improve one of his games. We spent the day tinkering. In the middle of the night I couldn’t sleep because I was still thinking about it and I came up with the concept for Go Figure!. The next morning I created a prototype. I played it with my kids and their friends. Everybody loved it. Parents started to ask me to make them games. One thing led to another and now the game is a hit in over ten countries around the world.

## What are key advantages of playing games in school?

“On average, using academic games in the classroom is associated with a 20 percentile point gain in student achievement(Marzano – 2010).

There is strong research that supports using games to improve academic achievement. To me, there are several reasons for this. A big reason is that games are fun to play! When kids are having fun their motivation and engagement increases, they’re more attentive and they’re gaining confidence.

In addition, playing games improves social skills (learning how to lose gracefully) and improves executive skills (such as planning and thinking before acting).

## How does Go Figure improve math fluency?

When kids play Go Figure! they do not even notice that they are learning and practicing math skills. To them they are just playing a fun game, even though they are doing math 100% of the time. Each player is dealt a hand of cards that they use to build equations. For each turn, players use the cards in their hand to add to the piles to change the equation. They’re practicing math fluency and creative problem solving at the same time.

## Can Go Figure be played by students at different levels?

One thing I like about Go Figure! is that it is suitable for both the excellent mathematician and the student who could use more practice. Players at different skill levels can play together. As players take turns building equations with the cards that have been played, there’s an element of luck based on the cards you’ve been dealt. This means that sometimes the player who is the best in math does not necessarily win.

At the same time, the game can easily be differentiated for different levels. For younger learners, play with just the addition and subtraction symbols. For more advanced kids, add in the multiplication and division symbols.

For older students, Go Figure! Advanced includes fractions, square and square root cards that can be used to practice more complex equations.

## Can you play Go Figure at home?

Absolutely! It is a fun game for the whole family. The rules are simple and parents can quickly learn how to play.

Reinforcing math skills is important. We’re all concerned about the learning loss that has occurred over the last year. Playing games such as Go Figure! at home is a fun way to reinforce math skills for all learners.

## What would you say are the key benefits of playing Go Figure?

What would you say are the key benefits of playing Go Figure!?

1. Players associate mathematics with fun. This is the most important element and can have a lasting effect on the rest of someones life.
2. Players become more creative with numbers
3. Players have more insight in the combinations of numbers
4. Players gain confidence in math

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