Find Your Other Half

Students solve one problem, and then must find the other person in the room who has their "Other Half" i.e. a different problem with the same final answer.

This activity can be quick or long depending upon how hard you make the problems. It gets folks talking math with each other.

Create a set of problems and use them repeatedly as warm-ups, or quick fillers, or on days when time is not plentiful.


  • Write out an answer guide with pairs of problems; each pair should have two different problems that both end with the same answer.
    click HERE to see an example

  • Next, make up actual cards with these problems on them. Each card should have its own circled identification number at the top. Keep these cards together by matches.
    click HERE to see and example
  • Before your students arrive, write 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place etc. on the board and place a piece of tape underneath each place.
    (This will get students interested as soon as they enter.)
  • Begin by passing out scrap paper to each student and have them write their name on it.
  • Pass the cards out making sure that matches do not go to kids sitting beside each other.
    (You may want to plan it so that you pass the harder questions to the brighter kids so that they are more challenged.)

    If you have an odd number of students, give one of the harder problems to the brightest student and tell her there is no match for it, she just has to get it correct.

  • Students copy down the problem and its circled identification number onto their scrap paper and then do it showing all work.
  • Next they must find their "Other Half" somewhere in the room.
  • When they find each other they quickly go to the board and tape their scrap papers face down under the 1st or 2nd or 3rd place etc. spots, in order.
  • When everyone is taped up, the teacher will check to see if the mathches on the board are correct.
  • We recommend letting at least half of the pairs win some sort of prize or bonus to keep the slower students trying. The first place pair can win a better prize or more bonus.

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