Teaching Moments: Math Games

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As of next week, I will begin a teaching position doing math intervention for at risk students in a Harlem Public School.  I am incredibly, heart pumping excited for this next chapter in my teaching career.  My work in Harlem will be unlike any of my previous experiences as a Canadian public school teacher.   I am confident that as I work to teach my students mastery over the mathematical concepts that they will be teaching me equally as much about what it is to be a thoughtful, culturally aware, engaged educator.  I am eager to grow my professional competencies as I experience the grind and joys of inner city, urban teaching.  So with all the excitement in me building, and my patience to begin waning,  all I can do is start to plan by scouring my  math materials to see what might be applicable to my new students.  I have unearthed a few games that I have created and used in my math classroom that I thought I should share with the greater teaching world. Throughout my teaching career I have always struggled to find resources that reflect my exact vision for my curriculum or meet the precise, unique needs of my students.  So as a result I tend to devise all my own worksheets, games and handouts.  Often my creations are inspired by things I see done by others or a need I see arising in a child, but in the end I tailor my inspirations into something that aligns with my educational philosophy. So with that in mind, please use these resources, adapt them and if possible give me your feedback so I can better them in the future.  

1. Noggle

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Like boggle (with all the same rule) except with numbers.  I have used this with all grades by modifying the numbers and equations to be age appropriate.   It is a great substitute teacher activity, and has been one of my go to last minute or early finisher resources.  I usually draw a large grid on the board, then fill it in with numbers that lead to equations I know my students can do.   I also like to make it a bit of a class challenge by offering a reward for whoever finds the most equations or the longest equation.  It is a lot of fun, and keeps the kids busy while they don’t even realize they are using their abstract thinking skills, and cognitive math processes. The pdf version can be downloaded here: Noggle

2. Number Search

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Like a word search, but again with numbers. It is as simple as that.  Again, in my classes this game usually an early finisher activity, or as part of a Math Game Day lesson where I offer all of these math games for the students to explore.  By offering a variety of math games my students can switch and try an alternative activity when they are tired of or frustrated with the game they are playing.  Furthermore, I often let students work together or in small groups on this sheet because it encourages teamwork, joint problem solving and has them engaging in mathematical centric talk and language.  The pdf version can be downloaded here: Number Search

3. Mastermind

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Like the traditional board game Mastermind, but (you guessed it) with numbers. This is a place value and numbers game.  I have found that the concept of guessing the numbers can be a little trickier for the younger grades, so I tend to use it with the intermediate or middle school aged students.  However, I have found a few wiz kids who love this game in the primary years so really you are the best judge on what your students can handle. I tend to always include this in any of my Math Games Days regardless of age, for the very reason that children are constantly surprising you with their adroitness.  You will find the instructions right on the handout for how to play. The pdf version can be downloaded here: Mastermind Game

4. Roll and Colour

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This is a kindergarten math activity that I have used to encourage partner work in math.  I usually print off about 3 copies per child so that they can play the game with a few different friends.  It also has the added benefit of working on their fine motor skills and coloring abilities, as I always ask them to do their best coloring and to colour in the entire section before their partner rolls. The rules are found on the handout, and it makes a great spring math activity. The pdf version can be downloaded here: Roll and Colour Game

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9 thoughts on “Teaching Moments: Math Games

    • Thanks Meaghan! You are way too kind. Your guys are equally as lucky. I love watching what you two are doing in your classrooms 🙂

  1. Could you please repost the mastermind PDF? It looks awesome, but I think you accidentally posted the number search one again.

  2. Hey would you mind stating which blog platform
    you’re using? I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m
    having a hard time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.

    The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most
    blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

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