Need an EASY Distance Learning Game? Play “Ready, Set, Show!”


If you’re looking for a fun distance learning game, try “Ready, Set, Show”. This activity is perfect for teaching over a Zoom call, Google meet, or distanced in-person learning. Your students can stay six feet apart, and show what they know with “Ready, Set, Show!”

what grade levels is this distance learning game for?

As long as your students can use white boards or hand calculators, you can play Ready, Set, Show. I have personally used this game with my 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade students.

what materials do i need to play ready, set, Show?

All you need for this distance learning game is white boards or hand calculators for students to show their answers. You can use this activity to review any subject matter, although I tend to use it for math review and fact practice.

This activity was originally created to be used with white boards. However, since white boards don’t hold their allure forever, and it’s sure nice to have fresh options for students to show understanding, creating a class set of hand calculators and digit cards is time well spent, even during a normal school year.

And now that we’re in the land of distance/hybrid/quaranteaching, hand calculators are more useful than ever! Most kiddos don’t have white boards at home, but they do have a piece of construction paper to make a hand calculator.

You can find more details on hand calculators below.

How DO I play ready, set, Show?

Ready, Set, Show! is a game that’s as easy as giving a question and saying “Ready, Set, Show.” Just make sure if you’re using hand calculators, that your question has a numerical answer. If you’re using white boards, you can review any subject matter.

When the teacher says “READY”, students listen to or read the question. You can write a question on the board, give a math fact problem aloud, or project a question from your computer screen.

When the teacher says “SET”, students work out their answer and then write it down on their white board or start putting the correct digit cards to show the answer in their hand calculators.

When the teacher says “SHOW”, students turn white boards or hand calculators outward to show off their answer.

Not only is this Ready, Set, Show routine easy and fun for kids, it’s also a sneaky way for you to assess your entire class in a matter of minutes.

That’s it. Ready, Set, Show! This routine can easily become a part of your daily math warmups or guided practice for any subject.

watch this video to learn how to make a hand calculator and see how easy it is to play ready set show.

Where can I get the digit cards and hand calculator instructions?

What is a hand calculator?

The name is a bit misleading, since hand calculators don’t actually do the math for you (this would defeat the purpose of using them for students to show what they know). You can also use the term “math mittens” if you’d like, since this name is a little more accurate.

A hand calculator is a piece of construction paper or card stock that is folded to have a 1-inch lip on both sides and then stapled.

Students have number cards to place in hand calculators to show answers during the guided practice portion of your math lesson. They put the calculator on their hand, put the cards in the calculator, and then shoot their hand up in the air.

Not only can you use the hand calculators and digit cards as a white board alternative during the guided practice portions of your math lessons, but you can use them for fact practice Ready, Set, Show games, and an “in our seats” Back to School get to know you activity.

Anything with numbers as answers is fair game.

How do i make a hand calculator?

Step 1: Prep the materials

*One 8.5” x 1 1” sheet of cardstock or construction paper for every student
*One set of digit cards for every student (copied front to back on cardstock)

Step 2:

Fold the hand calculator sheet in half (hotdog fold)

Step 3:

Fold each side of the hand calculator up one inch to make a lip. Do this once on both sides.

Step 4:

Staple each side of the hand calculator over the lip of the paper.

Step 5:

Cut out the cards. If you’re playing in-person, have students put their initials at the bottom of every card. Now you’re ready to play!

Teacher note: One thing to keep in mind with hand calculators is, you have to choose your math questions wisely. Even with double-sided number cards you can run into problems if there are answers with more than 2 of the same digits. The blank cards can help with that. Just let the kids write on them in pencil if they’re missing/can’t find a certain digit. Problem solved!

What do you think Super Teacher? Could Ready, Set, Show! work in your virtual or in-person classroom? Are you up for making hand calculators? Leave a comment and let me know.

Have a fab day Super Teacher,

Need some Ready, Set, Show that’s ready to go? Just add hand calculators or white boards and you’re ready to project and play!