Getting your students focused on learning can be difficult as we keep getting deeper into the year. Why? Well, we are getting deeper into content and we haven’t had a break for awhile. Therefore, it can become harder for students to keep up, especially in math class. Math is one of those classes that can be difficult to master and harder to make fun. However, this is where review and enrichment activities are important! I like to use easy elementary math games to keep math exciting when focus is down.
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Why Choose Elementary Math Games?
I love elementary math games because games are engaging. Students usually have a naturally competitive edge whether they are playing against themselves or another student. When you add games to your centers, morning motivators, or early finisher activities, you’re making the most out of your time and engaging your students.
Squares Your Brain
One of my favorite games is Squares Your Brain. This is a game that I actually came up with myself and I loved it and my students loved it! One of the things I loved about it was I only had to teach my students how to play it once even though the skills changed every time you played the game. While the skills change, the rules and the set up for the game doesn’t. So, you have a quick and easy set up with quick and easy rules. How can you go wrong? I wanted Squares Your Brain to be a quick game to set up with easy rules because then it is versatile.
How to Play Squares Your Brain
First, when you get the game you simply have to print off the PDF as well as the game pieces. The PDF is set up so you can easily print off the game on the front and back which is what you’ll want to do. I would highly recommend laminating the game pieces and boards. Once it is all set up, you put all your game pieces on the center of the board. Then, the student moves them to the outside spaces to the correct answer. Finally, they check their own work. On the back, the answer key is there for students to self-check and hopefully see what they did wrong on questions they missed.
You might be thinking, how do you know they didn’t cheat? Well, you can’t flip the card over without spilling all of your pieces if you put them in the middle of the board like you were supposed to. If you do flip it over, you’re going to have to start the game all over again.
Your students can play this by themselves or they can play it in pairs. If you have students play it in pairs, you will need a twelve sided die or you will need two regular dice. Students would then take turns rolling the dice and completing whatever number they rolled.
This game is great for all kids and is available in kindergarten through third grade! It can be used as a fast finisher exercise, a math center activity, or it can be sent home for some extra practice!
Super Simple Elementary Math Game: Super Speed Math
Last week, I told you about Super Speed 1000 which is a sight word game that’s amazing for literacy centers and guided reading. Super Speed Math has a similar concept to Super Speed 1000. This is another Whole Brain Thinking game and is super fun for students and completely free. Much like the sight word activity, this is a fast paced game that students can use to strengthen their math skills. Plus, it’s simple to teach and you’ll only have to teach it once!
How to Play Super Speed Math
For this elementary math game, students will work in partners. One student will have the answers and the other will have the sheet. The one with the sheet of paper is trying to do their math facts as fast as possible. This is a great way to focus on learning and memorizing math facts that make life so much simpler. Even though it’s important to know why 8+7 is 15, it’s also good to have some math facts committed to memory. This is a great game for focusing on the basic skills all students need for math.
Using Push Pops for an Elementary Math Game
I have seen these incredibly addicting Push Pops all over the place. Typically when I see them they are in little shapes like a heart or a duck, but then I discovered you can get Push Pop 100s. When I realized this, it dawned on me that these could be great for practicing math especially if you get the rainbow one so you can work on fractions or use the colors as a part of the game!
Push Pop Dice Game for Multiplication, Addition, Subtraction, and More!
Take a twelve sided dice and roll it twice. You write your two numbers down on a piece of paper. Then you use the Push Pop like a times table. For example, if I rolled a six and a four, I would pop six of them down and four across. Then I would pop all the ones in the middle until I got a perfect box. From there, I could count how many pops I had to do which would make me realize that six times four is twenty-four. This would also work with addition and subtraction facts. You could even use them as word problems. The possibilities are really endless because this is a fool-proof math manipulative.
Math can be a difficult subject, but when you make it fun, students are going to be learning and not even realizing it. Using elementary math games can make all the difference for students who are struggling and those who need to be pushed harder. Because these games are all short and sweet, they can be used in a variety of ways that are effective making every minute in your classroom count.
Until Next Time…
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