I’m sure this has been done many times before, and I got the idea from Elizabeth Statmore’s “Life on the Number Line” game. I decided to make my own version of negative number football.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to fill the conceptual gaps my students have. Negative numbers are some of the most common struggle areas I’ve encountered during my time in education.

Here are the materials for the game:

## Update 9/23/19:

## Update 4/8/14:

- I made a game board with Desmos in order to use less paper and allow the students to move their game pieces easier.
- As usual, Desmos came through with a great improvement.

@DaneEhlert I connected a lines from the center to the point. Also, make a line to show who is ahead & by how much. https://t.co/YS41Z6QZQy

— Desmos.com (@Desmos) April 8, 2014

## Update 1/20/15

- Denis Sheeran made a great change to the Desmos game board.

@DaneEhlert i’ll be digging through the page a lot. in the football desmos, i made the black line abs(a-b). It shows who’s winning better.

— Denis Sheeran (@MathEdisonHSNJ) January 20, 2015

What did I leave out? Do you have suggestions for improvement?

Love this! Thanks for sharing…going to use it with several kids who need reviewing! You do great stuff.

Thank you! I appreciate the kind words. Let me know how it goes.

Thanks Dane this is great. So on what yard line does the opposing team start after a touchdown is made? Negative 5 again? And do they always go for the endzone on the right?

Thanks for the kind words, Sean! I like to have the students start on the negative 5 again after touchdowns to make sure they have to work with negative numbers from the start. I’d be okay with them starting further into the negatives as well.

Also, I have the students always go to the right because it aligns more naturally with the cards I made. Adding 7 yards may be confusing if they are going to the left.

Thanks again for the comment!

Thanks for getting back. I played today with Desmos and this was the best intro to operations with negative numbers I’ve ever done. Definitely beats the old number lines. I think I’m going to play one more game on Monday and have them start further back in the negatives.The kids wanted to do 2 points for safeties as well.. and of course we had to pull up a half-time show. Thanks again.

Awesome! I’m glad it went well. Great idea with the safeties! Thanks for the positive feedback. Definitely means a lot.