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Math Games

Compiled By: luv2teach77

Are you looking for ways to reinforce math concepts in the form of games? Here's a collection of math games that your students are bound to enjoy!

Dice Game
Posted by: Mathzilla

I have a simple one I play when we have an extra 5-10 minutes. I'm up front with 2 dice. Each student gets a piece of scratchpaper and writes B U S T across the top. It doesn't mean much, but we play one game under each letter.

I roll 2 dice and call out the 2 numbers I rolled. ("5, 3") Depending on your grade, you can either have the kids add, subtract, do one positive and one negative, multiply, etc. They jot down the answer as fast as they can in the first column (let's say "15"), and I roll again. I try to push the speed as fast at they can do it. If I roll doubles, the game ends and everyone loses the points they've gotten to that point. So the tricky part is that they have to anticipate when I'm going to roll doubles, and stand up to show they're freezing their score. Once they're up, they have to stay up. But if they're sitting when I roll doubles, they go bust and their score becomes 0 for that game. Then everyone who was standing up adds up their list of numbers and the one with the highest (or lowest if you're doing negatives) wins that round. With older kids, it can lead to a discussion of probability as well -- what are the possible rolls and how many of them are doubles? After how many rolls is it reasonable to get a little nervous about upcoming doubles?

All I do for a prize is let the winner hold my little stuffed dog toy from my desk during the next game. They're thrilled with that. I have 7th graders, but we've played a variation with 3rd graders, too. Nothing too tricky, and also not too openly competitive face to face, which I appreciate. No one is on the spot!

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Multiplication 4 in a row
Posted by: TexTeacher

How to Play Multiplication 4 in a Row

This game is for two players. It is great for practicing those facts!

You need:

1 copy of the game board
2 paperclips
2 different kind of place markers (beans, color rocks, small game pieces)

The first player takes the two paper clips and places each of them on a number (2-9) at the bottom of the board. That player than says the multiplication sentence (ex. 4 X 7=28) and places one of their markers on the product.

The second player then gets to move only one of the paperclips to make a new multiplication sentence. That player calls out the multiplication sentence and put on of their markers on the product.

Play continues as players move one of the paperclips making new multiplication sentences, calling out the fact, and marking the product. The first player with 4 of their markers in a row (up, down, or diagonal) wins.

If someone’s marker is already on the product, you must come up with a new multiplication sentence.

Paperclips can be stacked on top of each other for number sentences such as 8X8.

If all products are covered moving only one paperclip, both may be picked up and placed on new numbers.

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Fun Math Games
Posted by: Caitlin

Here are a couple of my students favorite math games:

1. Wild West Addition/Subtraction: You need a deck of cards, with all the face cards taken out. Two students go up in front of the class and stand back-to-back. You put a card on each students forehead (without them seeing the card). Then the students take three steps away from each other and turn and face the class. The whole class then looks at the sum or difference of the two cards that are on the students' foreheads and tell them the sum or difference. Then, using the sum or difference, and looking at the card on the other person's forehead, they have to figure out the card on their forehead. Whoever shouts out the correct answer first wins that round. Play again and again. This can be done with multiplication and division too.

2. Facts of Life: You will need a deck of cards, with the face cards taken out. This is a card game that the kids can play in groups of two to four. It is a lot like the card game WAR. You put down a basecard and that card stays throughout the game. Then each kid flips over a card from his/her pile. Let's say the basecard is a 4 and you flip a seven and I flip a five. You would say 7 + 4 = 11 and I would say 4 + 5 = 9. Then, you would take the cards because you had the higher sum. Keep playing until you have a winner. I have my kids play this game when they are done with their independent work.

3. Beachball Math: My kids LOVE this one. You need a beachball. Once you get your beachball, write numbers ALL over it with permanent marker. Then have the kids toss it to each other. Which ever two numbers their thumbs land on, they have to add together. Then, pass it on.

math game for addition
Posted by: math game for addition

My kids love this game. It not only helps them practice their basic addition facts, but also practice addition of two digit numbers.

I write the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 on colored plastic squares that came with our math kit. (You can also use blank white ceramic tiles or laminated paper squares). Kids can play the game in pairs or groups of three. Have the kids lay the squared down in order with the numbers showing. The first player rolls a pair of dice and then figures out the numbers they can turn over using the sum of the dice. For example: If the total of the dice is 8, the child can turn over an 8, 5 and 3, 6 and 2, or 1 and 7.
The child continues to toss the dice and turn over numbers until he/she can not turn over any more numbers. The child then adds up the total of the numbers that are still showing and that is his score for round one. The second person takes his or her turn, and then the third person. The kids play three rounds and then each child adds up the numbers from each round. The person with the highest score is the winner of the game. I also send this game home as one of the math games I send home twice a month for kids to play at home with a parent or a sibling. I send the games home in zip-lock plastic bags, and the kids returne them to school.

math facts
Posted by: Joan

Asking parents to use flashcards at home to help their children master the facts is probably useless, as it will be drudgery for both parent and child. I know some students have been helped by those multiplication table songs. Perhaps you could send a tape (cheap to make a copy) home with a child and ask parents to see that he listens to it nightly. I teach fifth grade and have found that games are best for those who have trouble memorizing facts. There are many games using playing cards and dice. Here are a few I use:

#1-This is played by two people with a deck of cards with the jokers and face cards removed (or jack = 11 and queen = 12). Shuffle the deck and deal them all out face down. Each player flips over a card from his or her pile. The first player to call out the correct answer gets to collect two flipped over cards. If a player calls out the wrong answer the other player gets the cards. Players continue until all the cards have been flipped over. The winner is the player with the most cards at the end. This could be adapted so the parent does not compete to call out answers, but does get to keep the cards of incorrect answers by his/her child.
#2- Another card game is like the game "War". Each player (there can be more than two) flips two cards and has to call out the product of their two cards. The player whose cards make the highest product wins all four cards. If a player calls out an incorrect product, he loses his cards to the other player (whether his product was higher or not). If the two products are the same, they leave the cards out and flip two more until someone wins all of those cards. Play can continue until one player loses all his cards, but I usually just put a time limit on the game and the player with the most cards wins.

Dice work well because we usually teach the tables up to twelves and the sum of two dice is twelve.
(You can use variations of the card games, but give points instead.)
#1- Two or more players play with four dice. Players take turns rolling two dice (a two and a four would be a six), then the other two dice (a five and a six would be eleven). Then they multiply the two numbers (six times eleven) to find the product. If the product is 50 or greater, they get a point, if less than 50... no point. If they give the incorrect product, they lose a point. Play continues for a set amount of time. The player with the most points wins! My students love this game and it's great to listen to them. For example, they will roll a seven with the first two dice and I'll hear them saying, "Oh, I need at least an eight to get a point!". Also, I think they just like to roll dice.

Perhaps you could send card and dice game ideas home to parents and ask that they play them with their kids.

subtraction games...
Posted by: LI Z

We play subtraction baseball to reveiw math facts. I used subtraction flash cards and break the class up into 2 even teams. I have an odd number of students, so I pick one student to play on both teams. At home plate. they are asked a math fact. If they get it right, they go to 1st base...if the get it wrong, it is an out and take the number 1 tag and put it under the "outs" sign for his/her team. Then the second students come up and of he/she get it right then they go to first base and the other student goes to second.....and so forth and so on. We record the number of homeruns on the board. We generally play three innings. After three innings, whoever has the most homeruns wins. I might let the losing team line up first or the winning team get a drink first. I am very careful to make the students know that this is just a game and it doesn't matter if you win or lose, but that you are learning math facts. I do this with addition and spelling words. Hope it

addition games
Posted by: lisa

Several quick and easy addition games can be found using an ordinary deck of cards. Have one deck per 2 students. Take out the face cards if you teach a primary level. Have your students choose a partner. Students will shuffle the deck and pass the cards out evenly between them forming 2 piles. The cards should be facing down. To begin the game, each student will simultaneously flip one card over. The first student who adds the two cards correctly receives them. Students can continue playing until they go through the deck once, or until someone wins all the cards. Another (slightly difficult) version is to yell out how many more it would take to make the highest card. An example would be: Student 1 flips over a 9, Student 2 flips over a 4. The first to yell 5 would win the cards. There are many more games that you can play using cards - be creative.
Another quick game I play with my entire class is called, Climb The Mountain. I have this on paper, but you can do it on the board easily:

Rule +2 Starting Number = ______

10. _____
9. _____
8. _____
7. _____
6. _____
4. _____
3. _____
2. _____
1. _____

Show students the Rule +2. Make sure they know they will be adding 2 to each new number they make. Do not give them the starting number until everyone is ready to begin. When everyone is ready , write the number 7 on the line. students will start at #1 and write the number 7. For #2 they should write 9, #3 they should write 11, and so on until they climb the mountain to the top. The winner is the first one to correctly climb it. I personally give prizes out to the top three. I number the papers as they come in and I take the first three correct papers no matter how long it took them to get it in to me. Everyone has a chance that way, and no one gives up. Believe it or not, I often end up giving the prizes to the last students to turn it in. They usually take their time and get them all right. Change the Rule and the Starting Number each time. You can revise this as needed for subtraction (goes downhill), multiplication, and division.
I hope this helps.

Posted by: Becky

There are many games that can be made. Think TV games. Jeopardy: you categories can be addition, subtraction, greater than, less than, fractions, etc.
Give each category pt. value.
place answers under each category and have st. come up with their questions/problems.
2. Match game: on one flash card put the answers and on the other the math problem. St. match them.
3. Relay races: have student teams fill in a family of fact house. Make flashcards with family of facts (separately) and throw in a couple of misleading ones. The team that fills their house with correct family of facts wins.
4. Around the world flash card game, but use a ball or inflatable globe to toss to the opponent playing the champ.
These are just a few I've played with my students.
They can be adjusted for 1st - 4th. Good luck!

math games--unifix cubes
Posted by: Jessica

How about using math games that require counting objects? Last week, we played 2 games that make the kids count unifix cubes. Both games are from a book called Developing Number Sense using Unifix Cubes.

Game 1--Race to Make a Staircase
Object of the game is to build a staircase. (1 tower of 1 unifix cube, a tower of 2, a tower of 3, ...until a tower of 6. You stand them next to eachother so they look like stairs. This is a partner game. Player 1 rolls the dice and builds a tower of that many cubes. Player 2 does the same. They keep going until someone comletes a staircase of 6. If a player rolls a number they already have, they lose that turn.

Game 2--Race to Make 30. Similar object--using unifix cubes, make a long tower of 30. Each player rolls the dice and adds that number of cubes to the tower. This tower has to stay flat on the ground. Keep going until 30. Partner game.

Math games
Posted by: Ally

I use cards to play math games like the above poster and dice too...for example, Two Dice Addition...Three Dice Addition...Two Dice Subtraction...then add a third die and make it add two then subtract the third (I make grids the kids fill in to "win" so the dice games have an end to them) Once these games get too easy, I add those many sided dice so they can try again with larger numbers.

You could try the "Box Cars and One Eyed Jackas" books...they have a ton of math games that reinforce math facts. My students find playing games much more enjoyable than only drills...of course there are the kids that LOVE drill practice too. I do a variation of that is called "Random Numbers"...I have a column of ten boxes and then give the students a "drill command" such as "add 3) then each time I say a number, they add three and fill that sum in the box. I have seen this put to tape too so the teacher does not have to be calling out numbers and the tape gets faster as the kids improve.

Posted by: Betsy

My students love to play the game of "Snaps." I think I may have gotten this idea on this board. All players stand. Teacher gives each student a problem (mult., addition, subtraction) and the student has three snaps to say the answer. If the student beats the third snap he remains in the game. If not he sits down. Play three rounds: round one=3 snaps, round two=2 snaps, and round three=1 snap. All players still standing after round 3 are the winners. I'm not sure if this is something you could use or not on math night, but you can atleast use it in your classroom.

This is another activity my students love. Maybe you can find a way to make it work for math night. Maybe students and parents could work as a team. I give a problem on the board and students have given amount of time to solve on paper. I then walk quickly around the room to see who has the correct answer. If student does have the correct answer I say "point" and she gives herself a tally mark on top of her paper. Each tally mark equals one skittle.

Posted by: Kim

If you are playing math games, then cards are always easy to use... Go Fish, War (Call it "Compare"), Crazy Eights, etc. There are books out there with just card and dice games. IF you are working on reading skills you can make sequencing cards. Or make flash cards and play a game called "Bang!" Another teacher taught it to my kids and although the name isn't a favorite, you can rename it. The children get the flash cards that they can read, but if they get the Bang! card they have to give their cards all back. Winner is the one with most cards when you havbe gone throught the deck once. My kids love this game for some reason and it's great for drill. Yo can also make a generic game board and change the question or activity cards. Parchesi, Chutes and Ladders, etc are always good. My class also likes BrainQuest for a mix of questions.

Math games
Posted by: Mrs. J

I've used a game called "Bizz-Buzz" in small groups (but it might be fun in large groups) to help with multiples. This can work with elementary or middle grades. You start out by choosing a number (usually I choose something between 3 and 7) to be "Bizz." I usually have students stand in a circle and I join them. One student starts out the counting with "one." Students go around the circle counting in order. However, when you get to any multiple of your chosen "Bizz" number, students have to say "Bizz," not the number. For example, if 3 was the "Bizz" number, the first student would say "one", the next student "two", the next student "Bizz", then "four", "five", "Bizz", etc. Once students are comfortable with this you can add another number for "Buzz." Now you have two multiples that students are trying to remember. For example, if multiples of 3 are "Bizz" and multiples of 5 are "Buzz", the third, sixth, ninth, etc. students would say "Bizz", the fifth and tenth students would say "Buzz", and the fifteenth student would say "Bizz-Buzz" (because fifteen is both a multiple of three and five). You can play like musical chairs where when a student says a "Bizz or Buzz" multiple he or she is out, or you can just play for fun. It's amazing how quick they get with practice!

Grade 1 math games
Posted by: Jillian

Place Value--take ten popsicle sticks-on one side draw ten dots and on the other side draw one dot. Students then take the ten sticks and drop them on their desk/floor. They have to figure out their number by seperating the sticks that are showing the ten dots from the one dots.

Number Recognition --create a 100 chart for each student, mount it on thick paper and laminate if possible. Each student will have bingo chips or paper squares. The teacher will create a design on the grid (house, pumpkin..) wihtout showing the students. The teacher will call out the numbers required for that picture. You can make it more difficult later by saying "the number in between 67 and 69" or " 2 more than 5". The students really like to see what the picture will be.

Adding/Subtracting --take egg cartons and write or place numbers 1-6 in each row. Place two bingo chips in each egg carton. Students close the carton and shake the chips around. When they open the carton they must add or subtract the numbers together. We play this alone as well as with basic board games so they can see themselves mover toward the finish line.

Hope these help.

Math Game ideas for Gr.2 (adaptable for other grades)
Posted by: Natalie

Hi Sue,
I was in a grade 2 class and the teacher is amazing and had lots of really cool games.
1) First to 200 wins!(You can change the value with whatever place value you want) Using dice and base 10 sticks (or 100 etc), students can work in pairs on the carpet. Have large (11 x 17)contruction paper mats divided into ones, tens, hundreds. Each student rolls a die and puts that many of base 10 (or ones or hundreds) in the tens column. They need to keep track of their score.
2) Prbability: Have some photocopied sheets with pictures of each side of a die at the top. Students roll and keep track of how many times they roll each number. You could say whoever rolls 4 the most wins (or select a different number each time).
3)Use decks of cards and play Highest card wins.(Highest card keeps the cards from that round. The person with the most cards at the end wins!) This is played like War.
4)Modify this same game by making an outline of a star and photocopying it. Have the first student who can add the two cards flipped first fill in one point of the star. Star needs to be filled to win. (Box Cars and One-eyed Jacks)
I hope this helps a bit!! See Box Cars and one-eyed Jacks for more great ideas. It is amazing what you can do with a bag of dice and some cards.