# Any Good Math Games?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by hiskin, Jun 20, 2006.

1. ### hiskinRookie

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Jun 20, 2006

I am looking for some math games for 5th grade.

3. ### MrsCMultitudinous

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Jun 20, 2006

What concept are you looking to reinforce?

4. ### hiskinRookie

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Jun 20, 2006

Fractions, decimals, percents and really anything
Thanks

5. ### loves2teachEnthusiast

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Jun 20, 2006

Mailbox has a good book with math games in it

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Jun 20, 2006

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8. ### MissJBinderNew Member

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Jun 20, 2006

Okay, I'm going to try again... this is my first post so it wouldn't let me do a link, and I somehow lost my whole post.

I have a great game... SNAKE. Once I teach it, the kids start to request it. I even had a TA who I taught a couple years ago get all excited when the class was getting ready to play, he still remembered it. I have a variation that I like to play on days when I'm not feeling well or have a headache "silent SNAKE". This is pretty obvious, but talking while standing (this will make sense when you read the rules) causes the student to sit down. Talking while sitting gives the student a score of 0 for the column.

Since I can't post the link, I'm just going to copy and past the lesson plan from "The Educator's Reference Desk". I'll try to post more when I have more time to type them out. )

Description: Snake is a fun and highly interactive math game for practicing basic math skills. This activity is great for substitute teachers. It is quick and easy to set up if you find you have some unplanned time. The game also helps substitute teachers gain rapport with students. Some of the classes I subbed in would ask me to play the game with them on repeat visits. I would use it as a treat at the end of the day if the students had worked hard for me that day.

Goals: Increase proficiency in basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts.

Objectives: Students will use mental math to compute answers to arithmetic problems. Students will add columns of numbers to arrive at a total score.

Materials:

pair of 6-sided dice (or for older grades use 10-, 12-, or 20-sided dice)
calculator
paper
pencil
Procedure:
Each student writes the word "SNAKE" in large letters at the top of a piece of paper, making a column under each letter. All students stand by their desks, and the teacher rolls the dice and announces the two numbers. Depending on the grade level or the ability of the students, the teacher can have students add, subtract, multiply, or divide the two numbers. The students will do so quietly in their heads and then enter their answers in the first column "S." (The teacher should record each answer on a piece of paper as well.) The students continue to record their answers in the "S" column until they choose to sit down and play it safe or until the round ends. When a student has chosen to sit down, he/she can no longer collect points and must wait until the next round to stand up and rejoin the game. A round (or column) ends when one of the following occurs:
1. All the students have chosen to sit down.
2. The teacher has rolled a 1 on one of the dice. In this case, all the students who are still standing will lose all their points for that column only. Their total for that column will go to 0.
3. The teacher has rolled "snake eyes." In this case, all the students who are standing will lose all their points in each completed column and in the current column. Their score will now be 0.

After a round ends, all the students may stand up again and begin collecting points for the next column. After all five rounds have been played, the students will add up all of the columns to determine their total score. The student with the highest overall score wins. You may want to have students double check their calculations with a calculator. The teacher's answer sheet can also be used to verify students' scores.

I have tried this game with students in grades 3 through 8. Every class has loved it, as long as you make it appropriate for their age level. I usually give out a little treat to students with the top three scores. The students really love the challenge of out-guessing the roll of the dice.

One difficulty of the game is trying to keep students from calling out the answers. If students are silent, then all children can practice their math facts in their heads. Also, when students have their scores, they tend to rush up front to show the teacher. I made a rule of having students remain in their seats and raising their hands when ready to share scores. I would display a child's total score on the board and ask if anyone had a higher score. I would repeat this until I had the top two or three scores.

9. ### hiskinRookie

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Jun 20, 2006

Thank you for the great tips!

10. ### MrsCMultitudinous

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Jun 21, 2006

MissJBinder--that game sounds great...I think we'll be using it today!

11. ### MissJBinderNew Member

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Jun 21, 2006

MrsC, I'm glad you like the game, and I hope that your kids find it just as enjoyable as mine always do. It's also a great filler activity, and doesn't necessarily need to played all the way through.

Another game that my kids enjoy is Math Bowl. This can be used with any concept, though I find that it works best with higher order thinking skills.

Separate the class into groups of 3-5 (4 seems to be my favorite though). The group needs to have one leader. Often I play this game over a number of weeks and the leader changes. If I'm playing it in one sitting I usually pick, either the oldest student or a student who is sitting in a particular position in the group.

The teacher reads a question off the overhead, twice. While doing this the students are not allowed to write anything down. Instead of an overhead you can make copies of the question for each group and pass them out upside down on each table. From here the game has 3 stages.

"Solve"- Students attempt to individually answer the problem. During this part of the game students may not speak, or in any way communicate with the other members of their group, including looking at other members papers. Doing so results in that team being disqualified for that round. This stage usually last about 30 seconds to 1 minute, though I often just monitor the students and give a 10 second warning when I'm ready to move on.

"Huddle"- Now the group gets together and shares their answers. I explain to my students how important it is for them to back-up their answers if they believe in them. This is my favorite part of the game. I love to hear what the students tell each other as they try to make a case for their solution. Be sure to remind students that others may be listening to their answers so they don't want to talk too loud. Also they don't necessarily want to trust the answers that they hear, the other teams might be trying to give them fake answers.

"Surrender"- Only the leader of the group may submit a group answer. I have a classroom set of whiteboards that I usually use for this activity so I just have them hold those up, but I have done this many times with just papers and pencil and the leader hands in the paper. Each correct answer earns the team a point. One group is chosen to explain the answer on the board, unless all teams have the correct answer. If no teams have the correct answer I will either give a mini-lesson then or make a note to myself and plan it for later on.

I keep a running record of scores for as long as I have the students in those groups and often play it when we have just 5 minutes left of math. I've also seen this done in a district competition. I was teaching 4th grade in South Carolina. Over the period of a month we played the game in class, when a winning group was chosen for my class they competed against the other 4th grade class's winning group. The winner of that challenge (I'm proud to say it was my class) moved on to compete against the other 4th grades in the district (there were only about 4 or 5 other schools). That's as far as I made it so I'm not sure what the next step was, but it was really fun for the kids. The only word of warning is to make sure that teams are evenly matched up. This works out great for the less proficient kids because they have a peer helping them understand how the problem is solved, and the more advanced kids get a chance to teach the skill.

I hope you enjoy it.

12. ### heart4kidsRookie

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Jun 21, 2006

Cheryl Cox also sells great math games and flash cards.

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Jun 21, 2006

Great games. Snake sounds a lot like Pig except you can only add in Pig. I like group collaboration in a game, too. I separate the class into small groups and give each group a paper with 5 numbers at the top, and 5 problems written. Only the 5 numbers at the top can be used in the answers.

Example: the 5 numbers are 7, 15, 36, 2, 50
Questions might be: 1. The difference between these two numbers is 14. ____ ____ 2. If you double one of the numbers and increase the sum by 1, you will get another of the numbers. What are the two numbers? ___ ___ 3. I am the square of 6. ___ 4. The product of two of the numbers is 100. What are the numbers? ___ ___ And so on. I just make sure that the groups have equally difficult problems to make it fair.

One member from each team runs to the board and puts the answer to one of the questions when they get it. They must agree before putting it on the board. The first group to get all correct answers wins and gets prizes. If they write a wrong answer, I tell them which one is incorrect, they erase the answer and try again.

14. ### lajones81Rookie

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Jul 2, 2006

Thanks for the great games!

15. ### DNordlanderRookie

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Jul 2, 2006

Some really good ideas....

These aren't Math games that can be purchased, but they are "teacher created" ones that can be adapted to any material being taught.

My 4th grade Math team uses a lot of creative ways to keep the students interested. We rarely use pencil and paper worksheets. We like to give our students a "game-like" activity for almost every assignment they are given. They really enjoy it and work really hard. Here are some of the things we currently use:

-Easter Eggs: Cut up problems and put them in Easter eggs. We hide the eggs around the room. Students find an egg, work the problem, and then re-hide the egg for another student.

-Battleship: Students work with a partner. They are given problems to work. They start by working the first problem. When they have both reached an individual answer, they check to see if they're correct. If so, they get three trys to sink their partner's ships. We don't use the game from the store, as that would be costly. Instead, we have reproduced a game board onto paper. If you'd like a copy of it email me at dana.nordlander@cfisd.net.

-Rubber Ducks: The teacher cuts out blue butcher paper in the shape of a pond. In the pond, there are a number of rubber ducks. (We use rubber ducks from the dollar store.) The student chooses a duck, looks at the bottom (where a number is written), and that's the problem they work on from their worksheet. **This is just a way to get them up and moving...a fun spin on a worksheet.**

-Casitas/Offices: We have casitas that we use when students are testing. We also use these in the classroom for a fun activity. We put three problems inside of each casita (one on each flap). Each casita at the table has different problems. We play music and do sort of a musical chairs movement. They walk around their table. When the music stops, they stop at the seat they are closest to. They then choose one of the problems from that casita to work on. We give them 4 minutes and then re-start the music.

These are just a few of the ideas that we use on a daily basis in our classrooms. I am also looking for other ways to make doing a worksheet fun. Any alternatives to the boring pen-and-paper routine would be appreciated. And if you would like any further ideas of things we use, let me know. I will try to post more as I think of the things we have used.

Dana