I absolutely LOVE math games! Ask me to play ANY game and you have my attention. I want to play it. I want to play it well. And I want to WIN!
Games grab students’ attention and engage learners in positive learning experiences. In other words, your students will have fun without realizing they are learning!
We educators are always on the go. Between teaching, schedules, assessments, and MTSS, WHO HAS TIME FOR GAMES?! Am I right?
Let me show you five simple ways that you can use these Simply STEAM Math Games in your daily (busy) schedule.
1. Start Your Morning Off Right!
Give your students a choice on what they want to do in the mornings. Some students can do STEM Boxes. Others can shop for library books, read/write by themselves, or play math games. Giving math games as a choice allows students to get right to work and a solid 30 minutes of practice time.
2. Homework is Lame
Want to be the coolest teacher ever? Don’t give math homework… Except if it is a math game! Kids LOVE challenging their family members to a dual in their curriculum. I always have several students with huge smiles on their faces come and tell me, “I beat my Dad last night!” That makes me smile… Plus the fact that I don’t have to check anything. We begin math by having the students discuss what they mastered. Then, they talk about what they have not mastered, and how they plan on mastering it. This holds everyone accountable.
3. Use them as a math review!
The math games I have created are perfect for test prep. These games use the same rich language as the common core standards. Did I mention that they address every single standard?! My own students’ test scores went up by 21 points from playing these games!
4. Math Centers for the Win!
I love math centers. We try to get through two math centers per day. There are three centers in my math block: independent math, partner math, and writing about math.
My students play these partner games during their Math with Someone center. Since these specific math games are low prep, the kids have easy access to these games. They actually discuss math problems and explain their reasoning for each question. Partners analyze and coach one another. This supports the Common Core Math Practices standards.
5. Small Group Practice
In my small groups, I start every group by reviewing vocabulary for about 2 – 3 minutes. Then, we go into a mini-lesson on the skill/concept we are learning. I give them a problem to work on with a shoulder partner. We share our answers. For the rest of the small group, we play a game together. Giving my students practice gives me opportunities to observe their learning behaviors. It also allows me to see their thinking when they try to correct a peer.
These games are versatile and easy to incorporate into your daily schedule. Once your students know how to play the game, they will know how to play every game for the entire year. You only need two game pieces and that’s it! Check out the First Grade Math Games and the Second Grade Math Games here.
For more fun math games to play with your students, check out my post here!