Sorting Cards

Students should be placed in groups of three and given a deck of cards. Explain to students that they will be developing a strategy to place the cards in order A-K by suit. All the hearts should be in order, all the diamonds, all the spades and all the clubs. It does not matter which suit they place first in the deck, but all the cards in that suit must be in order. The goal is to complete this as quickly as possible with their group members.

  1. All students should be given a shuffled deck and be told the goal.

  2. Clarify any questions about suit, make sure the students see an example of what the cards look like in order.

  3. Give students five minutes to practice and develop their strategy in their groups.

  4. After five minutes, make sure each group shuffles a card deck for another group to ensure that the decks are shuffled

  5. To be finished, the students must order their deck, place the deck in a neat pile face down on the table, and all members must place their hands above their heads to indicate they are finished and not touching their cards

  6. Go around to each group in the order they finished to see if their cards are in order, if there is a mistake they are disqualified.

  7. Allow students another three minutes to see if they can improve their algorithm and repeat steps 5-6

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