June 3, 2017

Motivating Math Games

Motivating kids at the end of the year can be a challenge, especially if you're still expected to teach skills and review academic content. Whole group instruction is particularly challenging this time of year because it's so difficult to get kids to sit quietly and focus on the lesson when everyone (including you!) is hanging on until summer break!

As a former 4th and 5th grade teacher, I've been there, and I found that the best way to keep kids engaged during the last few weeks was by using math games. I love using games because they are so versatile; you can use them in math centers, cooperative learning teams, or small guided math groups. Math games give kids a chance to talk and move, but it's productive talk and movement, so playing math games is the perfect way to wrap up the school year.

Where to Find Math Games
Whether your school is still in session or you are already on summer break, this is a great time to build up your collection of math games. You can make your own, of course, but they are quite time-consuming to create. I know, because I created loads of math games for my students while I was teaching. I continued to make new math games after I left the classroom, and I've spent considerable time updating my older ones.

I love making math games, but if that's not the way you care to spend YOUR weekends, consider purchasing them from TpT.

Math Games Mega Bundle
If you're an upper elementary teacher, check out my Math Games Mega Bundle because it might be just what you need. This growing bundle includes 16 math games, and if I create new math games (and I probably will), those games will be added to this bundle, too.

Each game is unique, and to really appreciate them, you need to preview them individually. If you'd like to take a closer look at the games in this bundle, click the cover images at the end of this post to find them in my TpT store. If you like all of them, you'll save over $25 by purchasing the bundle!

Earlier this week I hosted a giveaway of this bundle and two $10 TpT gift cards, but the giveaway ended on June 6th. Congratulations to Aimee Wallace, the grand prize winner of the bundle, and to Jaime Homan and Becky Raycroft, the winners of the TpT gift cards.

As a part of the giveaway, I asked teachers to preview the books in the bundle and tell me which ones were their favorites. To enter the contest, they had to comment on my Teaching Resources Facebook page to tell me which games they liked best and why they liked them. I especially loved reading the comments from teachers who already had some of the games because they shared how the games actually worked with their students. If you'd like to read those comments, click over to the giveaway post on Facebook. Even though the contest is over, feel free to comment about which games you like!
Tips for Teaching with Math Games
If you'd like some tips for teaching with math games, check out my post, How to Use Math Games Effectively in the Classroom. In that post, I shared some strategies and techniques for using math games as a part of your instruction rather than just for fun. I also described an easy mini-lesson on how to teach kids to be a good sport. Many of those tips and that mini-lesson are also included in my freebie, Tips for Teaching with Math Games, which you can download from my TpT store. Enjoy!





24 comments:

  1. Love the mystery number Detective resource. Would be great in a center or small group with struggling kids and place value... FUN

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  2. Area & Perimeter Tic-Tac-Toss is a great way to review this important skill!

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  3. I think the ORDER OF OPERATIONS BINGO is great! There are not too many resources for using order of ops with games!

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  4. I love using Factor Race with my 5th graders. It improved their multiplication and division facts and they love playing the game!

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  5. would love simplify and snap, lot of practice for a hard to grasp skill.

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  6. I really like the Mystery Number Detective game simply because it is several different levels and I can use them for my differentiation with my students. It enforce critical thinking, which I think all students need.

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  7. My kids and I love Area and Perimeter tic tac toe. It allows them to be challenged while having a great time

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  8. My fifth grade kiddos would love factor race. Any game that involves them racing is always a hit and why not work on math facts while they are at it!

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  9. You are so beautifully creative! I would love these. If I could I would buy them all. I especially love Exploring Quadrilaterals as it is something I struggle to remember 😶

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  10. There is a lot of inovstive ways to learn and keep the students interested.

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  11. I like the Elapsed Time game. I liked how each student needed to answer every question and then the group discussed any wrong answers.

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  12. I also like the Order of Operations Bingo. My students have always loved Bingo type games and I am always looking for new ways to incorporate it.

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  13. I love that qr codes are included for simplify and snap!

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  14. I have the Mystery Number game and it is a class favourite for sure!! I'd love to own any of the decimal games as I have a small group that have not become proficient yet. Maybe a fun game would help!!!

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  16. I like that the games have detailed directions and the students can play independent or in pairs. I will often let students play games as teams. I am looking for ways to Integrate technology and I like that the Simplify and Snap has upgraded to include QR code answers as a way to check the work themselves. The games are great for getting students excited about learning.

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  23. The activities look great ... I will definitely spend some time looking through these bundles. Saddened that the only option to enter was via Facebook.

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