Math, the four letter word that can have some students running for the bathroom, the nurse’s office, or anywhere to escape. Math can be one of the hardest subjects in school for students. Because it can be difficult for students, we need to find fun ways to make it stick! Easy kindergarten math games will have your students ready to add, subtract, and multiply in no time!
Why a game?
I know what some of you might be thinking. The word “game” can be scary when it comes to the classroom. Sometimes games can change a quiet classroom into a madhouse in a hurry. On the other hand, games are great for collaboration. Allowing your students to collaborate gives them the chance to practice new skills, become the teacher, and learn from each other.
When students are playing a game, they are having fun while practicing a new skill or reviewing an old one. Sometimes the combination of fun and learning can help new ideas stick. In addition to solidifying these skills, some students will be able to help others learn the material.
Everyone is gifted at something and some students may be gifted at math. Allowing them to tap into these gifts and help others will make them feel super important and it might help the struggling student understand a big concept.
So what kind of math games can you play in kindergarten? There are so many to choose from that are ready to go just for you!
Squares Your Brain
A fun game to play with students is Squares Your Brain. This game helps your students gain and strengthen math skills by helping build a strong foundation. With this game, students can either work by themselves or work in groups of 2 or more to build their math skills. When your students play Squares Your Brain, they are getting hands on practice.
Tic-Tac-Toe Math Edition
Another fun math game takes a traditional game, Tic-Tac-Toe, and adds a fun math twist to it. In this game, you would have a 3 x 3 table. In each square you would have a math problem. Students take turns solving the math problems.
If they get the math problem correct, that player gets the square. The other student will have to try to solve math problems to block the other student from getting three in a row.
If someone does not do the math problem correctly, it is their opponent’s job to show them how to do the math correctly in order to get the square.
|3 + 7||9 + 7||8 + 7|
|6 + 8||4 + 15||7 + 6|
|5 + 8||9 + 2||8 + 4|
One thing about education that will never change is the need for review. Students need to review old concepts and new ones throughout the school year in order to make sure it sticks. You can accomplish this through the use of spiral review in your classroom.
Spiral review not only helps teach new skills, it helps students keep important skills in their minds while you learn new concepts. In so many subjects, and especially in math, ideas and concepts build on each other.
If your students lose valuable knowledge it will make new math difficult to learn. Use this great technique throughout the year to strengthen your student’s foundational math skills.
While math might be the “swear word” in your classroom right now, and the word “game” may make you shutter in your boots, combine them together to make learning dynamic in your classroom. Math skills are important skills students will need for the rest of their lives. Making sure your students have the foundational skills and solidifying them with a game will help you create math wizards.