Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

Google Sheets: Play Connect 4

Want to play games?! Try using Google Sheets. Play connect four in this spreadsheet adaptation by Alice Keeler.
connect 4 in Google Sheets
Google Sheets: Play Connect 4

Chris Brownell (and Sunil Singh)’s book Math Recess is an influence on me. In the book there is a list of games you can play to have fun with math. If I want to play these games asynchronously with someone who isn’t physically with me, Google Sheets is an excellent option. Previously I created Yahtzee in Google Sheets. Upon reading Math Recess and it’s suggestion to play Connect Four as a strategizing game, I made a Google Sheets version of that too.

Playing Connect Four

Connect four is a 2 player game. Each player takes turn dropping their game piece into a column. Gravity pulls the game piece to the bottom. The goal is to get 4 game pieces in a row: vertical, horizontal, diagonal. 

Gamifying Connect Four

In a classroom setting you can use a Connect Four game to gamify practice. If a student gets the answer correct, they get to place their piece. If they are incorrect, they forfeit their turn. 

Connect 4 in Google Sheets

Having enough Connect Four board games for a class of students is not only expensive but difficult to store. A digital version makes it more accessible for students to be able to play. 

Make a copy of this Google Sheets version by Alice Keeler is free.  Create a copy for each pair of students. One student will share the spreadsheet with their partner so they can play together. 

Authorize the Add-on

This is an unoffical Add-on created by Alice Keeler. It collects NO user data. NO PII. The authorization screen will warn you that the code has not been reviewed by Google and may have a “Back to Safety” button. IT IS SAFE. You will be authorizing yourself to access your own files. 

Trick to Asynchronous Game Play

When using Google Sheets (or other Google App) for asynchronous collaboration I recommend using the FILE menu to “Email collaborators.” This will allow you to send a message like “Your turn” along with the link to the game itself.

Play Menu

In the game a Play menu will eventually load next to the Help menu.


To play your chip either click on the column to which you want to play and click on the large black or red dots on the side. Alternatively, you can click the small chips above each column to place a chip.


The objective is to get 4 of your chips in a row: horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. Each player plays one chip at a time by dropping their chip into the board and gravity brings it to the bottom. Thus chips build from the bottom up.

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