Anyone who has ever tried teaching maths to younger students will be well aware of how tricky it can be to set up activities and lesson plans that are both fun, and educational.
After all, maths doesn’t allow too much creativity which can make it very easy to hit a roadblock in terms of teaching ideas.
The good news is there are plenty of math games out there that you can try for yourself which are guaranteed to teach your students some of the basic equations and rules of math, along with more advanced concepts and techniques in a unique and fun manner so that you can leave the big and bulky textbooks behind every now and again.
Here are some fantastic classroom math games that will make learning one of the hardest subjects much easier and far more enjoyable.
8 Exciting And Fun Maths Games To Try In The Classroom Today
Always remember that there are also more than a few online math games that can provide a fun and engaging way for students to learn more about math and all the concepts and equations that come with it, so it can be a good idea to balance your lesson plan between online games, textbook learning, and offline classroom games now and again.
With that being said, offline classroom games can be a lot harder to discover, so to make this easier, here are 8 of the very best that we would definitely recommend trying out next time you’re teaching.
1. Math Facts Race
Leaving students to figure out a math equation on their own for a lengthy period of time can sometimes break their concentration, however, when it’s part of a race, suddenly everyone becomes much more engaged and involved, and that’s exactly the purpose of the math facts race.
Start by dividing all students into teams at the back of the class, and then post a grid sheet at the front for each one.
You can also ask each group to give their own team names if you wish since this can make the whole game much more fun.
Each team member would then have to approach the grid, one by one, and write a correct answer in one of the spaces, depending on the topic being taught.
For example, if you were teaching multiplication, a student would need to multiply a row by a column to find the answer.
For younger students, you can write the numbers across the grid to make this easier.
2. 101 And Out
101 and out is considered a classic game by many teachers which has been around for decades at this point, but even today, it works incredibly well at providing a thrilling and intense experience that is sure to leave everyone knowing a lot more about maths and numbers than they did before they started.
The way this game works is each group is given dice which they must use to try and reach the number 101, or at least get as close to the number as possible.
However, each group will need to carefully strategize as they will either be allowed to take the number they land on at face value, or they can choose to multiply it by 10 which can help them get to that magic 101 far quicker.
101 and out is great for teaching multiplication as it gets the whole class thinking outside of the box in how they can use multiplication to reach a certain goal while still being cautious of overextending.
Initials is not only a great game to help students improve their mathematics skills in multiple different areas, but it also encourages teamwork and can even help them make new friends, which is why it is usually best to try out at the beginning or the middle of an academic year.
Each student will be given a unique sheet with a few different problems that need to be solved, this could be subtraction, additions, divisions, or multiplications.
However, rather than sitting there for half an hour trying to figure out each one individually, the students will go around to their classmates and fill in the answers on their sheets, before then putting their initials by the side of their answers.
The aim of the game is for a student to have their entire sheet filled in by others and then tell the teacher who will determine whether all the answers are correct.
4. Addition And Subtraction Bingo
Whether it’s addition or subtraction bingo, both are incredibly fun games to play which put a little more of a thought-provoking spin on the regular bingo game we are all so used to because rather than simply reading out numbers, the teacher will read out equations, and it will be up to the students to find the answer of the equation and tick it off if they have it on their card.
While addition and subtraction cards are definitely the easiest way to play this game and are a great way to ease students into the rules, after you have played it with a class a few times, you can also take the next step up to multiplication bingo which is a little more challenging, but still a great way to teach one of the slightly more advanced topics in mathematics.
5. Guess The Number
In this game, the teacher must pick a number between 0 and 100, and the students must try and guess what the number is to win.
However, rather than simply calling out the number, students must use equations to present the number of their choosing.
So for example, if someone wanted to say 25 as an option, they would need to say 5×5 or 20+5 in order for it to count.
Each time a number is rejected as being wrong, the student must write it down on a whiteboard so that they can begin to determine what the correct number is, while also paying close attention to what numbers their classmates are calling out.
6. Geometry Simon Says
While there are plenty of fun classroom math games that include numbers, shapes are just as important to teach, and while it can be a little harder and fairly challenging to make geometry an enjoyable topic, playing Simon says makes it a lot more memorable and creative.
The game follows the same premise as Simon says where each player must only follow the rules that “Simon says” to do, while any commands that have no mention of Simon must not be followed, and if they are, a player is out.
In this case, rather than simple body movements, students must position themselves so that they are mimicking a certain shape or angle.
There’s a whole range of different shapes you can use for this game, from right angles, all the way to parallel and perpendicular lines.
Geometry Simon says is a great way to introduce the topic of geometry in a fun and exciting way, however it can also be used as a creative way to test your class once you’re reaching the end of the year or just before some geometry tests.
7. Stand Or Sit
Stand or sit is an incredibly straightforward game that encourages students to compile everything they have learned about numbers and equations and apply it to one single game.
Each student must start by having their own number, they can either choose this themselves in secret, or you can assign a number to each person to ensure nobody will have the same.
When everyone has their number in mind, the teacher will then start saying different equations and requirements.
If someone has a number that corresponds with the statement, then they will stand, while if the number doesn’t apply, they will remain seated.
So for example, if a teacher were to say “Any number greater than 20” then only the students with a number bigger than 20 should stand, and you can do this with multiplications, subtractions, and divisions.
8. Round Robin
While this is an excellent game that can be played by the entire classroom, you can also split everyone into smaller groups depending on the size of your class.
Round robin is very easy to play at first and only requires a base-level knowledge of mathematical equations and solutions, but as it goes on, it becomes a lot more challenging and exciting.
When standing in a circle, one student must state a mathematical fact, such as 4×4=16 for example.
The person next to them must state another fact that cannot be the same, and this continues until someone struggles to think of anything and is then out of the game, making for a thrilling game that tests the student’s knowledge on many different topics.
With so many unique and creative math classroom games to choose from, it doesn’t matter how big your class is or the grade you are teaching, you can guarantee there is a game that will work perfectly for your situation and make teaching this harder subject so much easier.
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