9 Alternative Ways to Use OMG Cards

9 alternative ways to use omg cards

Old Math Guy is a super fun math card game.  Students love to play this engaging game in small groups.  You can learn more about the original game in this post.  This particular post is all about 9 alternative ways to use your OMG cards. Here are some ideas for switching it up:


1) Memory Game

Students can use these cards to play a memory game in pairs.  Turn all cards over and students can take turns turning two cards over to try and find pairs.  Unlike traditional memory games, the “pairs” are not the SAME, but they do MATCH.  For example, one card could be a graph and another is an equation but they represent the same function.  Or they could be algebraic expressions represented two different ways (factored and unfactored).  In the photo below, students find matching pairs involving square and cube roots.  This game promotes memory skills as well as math skills.  You could even include the two versions of the actual Old Math Guy in the game just for fun!

square and cube roots memory game with omg cards

2) Matching Activity

Give a pair or small group a deck of OMG cards and have them lay out the cards face up.  Then students can work together to find the “matches.”  This activity promotes great math discussions, and may help work through student misconceptions.  You could incorporate requirements such as (1) students must take turns finding a match or (2) once you find a match, you must show your group and say why it is a match.  In the photo below, students find matching pairs of linear graphs and equations in slope intercept form.

matching graphs and equations with omg cards


3) Flash Cards

This activity may require a little creative assembly and prep time.  Attach the pairs front and back so one side will be the “question” and the other side will be the “answer.”  Students can quiz each other or quiz themselves.  This could be a great tool to send home for extra practice.  I create the flashcards shown below by gluing the pairs front to back.

flash cards with omg cards


4) Task Cards

Who doesn’t love a good set of task cards?  Number the two-way tables 1-19.  Once the cards are numbered, cut them up so students can focus on one problem at a time.  This is an effective activity for struggling or anxious learners.  Check out this post for more ideas on how to use task cards in your math classroom.

omg cards as task cards


5) Self-Checking Worksheet

Print out the pages to use as worksheets.  Fold the worksheets the “hot dog way” with the problems facing out.  Students look at one side and complete those problems.  By unfolding, they can check their own answer.  This can also be used as a study tool.  The example below demonstrates identifying slope from a linear equation.

self-checking slope from equation activity


6) Exit Tickets

Cut up the cards and pass out for students to complete at the end of a class period.  Data, data, data!  By using similar problems for a few days and recording the results, you will identify measurable growth and see which students still require intervention.  To track data, I use an Excel spreadsheet.  All students' names are listed down the first column.  Then each subsequent column tracks daily exit tickets, and indicates whether students were correct or incorrect.

exit tickets and data


7) Cut-and-Paste Activity

This might also require a bit of creativity to make work, but it will pay off!  Print just the top row of problems.  (You can use a blank piece of paper to cover up the bottom row.)  Print the bottom row separately.  Cut out the bottom row cards.  Students will arrange the bottom row to match up pairs.  They can glue down the cards when they are confident in their answers.

cut and paste matching graphs and standard form linear equations


8) At-Home Practice

Send the cards home!  When playing Old Math Guy with a parent or parents, it may be smart to remove some of the pairs and play the game with a smaller deck.  This is great for remote or distance learning!  You can also refer parents to this YouTube video that explains how to play the game.

YouTube video about omg


9) Partner Search

These cards can be used as a fun way to randomly partner up students.  Pass out one card per student.  Then students move around the room to find the student with a “matching” card.


Phew!  So keep playing Old Math Guy with your students, but try some of these activities to switch it up.  Let me know what you try and how it works out!  

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