Fun classroom games

Submitted by: Jaylene Shay & Debby Osner

DON’T BUG ME

Small or large group activity

Skills:
addition, subtraction, multiplication, time, open sentences

Materials needed:
gameboard with answers written on bugs and 2 fly swatters with a small hole cut out of the center.

Divide the class into two teams. The first player on each team holds up the fly swatters. The teacher calls out a problem. The first player to swat the bug with the correct answer written on it scores a point for his team.

STEAL THE BACON

Large group activity

Skills:
addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, time, open sentences

Materials needed:
flash cards, item for bacon (eraser), answer cards taped to children

Divide the children into two teams. Put matching answers on each team

(Example: Team A has numbers 1-15 and Team B has numbers 1-15 taped on them. If working on time concepts, tape answers like 9:15, 6:45, etc. on them. Each team member has an answer taped to him.) Line up team A on a line facing team B, also on a line, with the “Bacon” on the floor between the two teams. The teacher calls out a problem or shows a flash card (Example” 3 x 4). The players wearing the correct answer (12) on both teams run to the middle and try to “Steal the Bacon” (eraser) and carry it back to their team without getting tagged by the other player. If the player with the bacon gets tagged before reaching his team line, no point is scored. An option which may be needed, depending upon the group, is to deduct a point if a player wearing the wrong answer tries to steal the bacon. Using flash cards alternately with oral problems requires students to look and listen.

GREEN GHOST – WHITE GHOST

Large group activity

Skills:
addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, time, story problems

Materials needed:
2 sets of answers written on green and white shaped ghosts Randomly pass out the green and white ghosts to the students. Show or tell a problem. All of the students work the problem. The first student with the correct answer to raise his ghost up high in the air scores a point for his team.

SHOUT IT OUT

Large group activity

Skill:
addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, number or letter recognition, time, etc.

Materials needed:
flashcards

Divide the class into two teams. Number off the students into equal teams. The students that are #1 face each other, #2 face each other, etc. Hold up a flash card. Give all students a chance to think of the answer. Call out one of the students’ number. Only the number that is called can answer the question. If a student answers the question that is not the called number, their team loses a turn.

BALLOON POP

Large group activity

Skills:
addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, number recognition

Materials needed:
balloons and math problems on strips of paper Put a math problem on a strip of paper. Fold up the paper and place inside the balloon. Blow up the balloon and tie securely. Prepare one for each student.

Divide the class into two teams. The students take turns popping the balloons, writing their problems and answers on the board, and race to the back of their line. Then the next person continues. The team that pops all their balloons and writes the correct problems and answers on the board first is the winning team. Great party game!!

PIG

Small group activity

Skill: addition

Materials needed:
dice, scoring pad

Pig is usually played by two students with one pair of dice. The object is to be the first player to score 100 points by adding the totals on the dice after each roll. The players take turns rolling the dice, however, a player may roll as many times as he wishes as long as he does not roll a 1 on one or both of the dice. If a 1 is rolled on one die, the player gives up the turn and loses all points earned during that turn. If a 1 is rolled on both dice, the player gives up the turn, loses all his count, and starts again at 0.

PLACE VALUE LINE UP

Large or small group activity

Skills:
place value, strategic thinking skills, cooperation, speechless communication

Materials needed:
numbers written on cards to put on the children

Make a set of cards to work on the place value you are teaching (tens, hundreds, thousands, etc.). Have the children line up and place a number on each child’s back. The children DO NOT know what number is on their own back. WITHOUT TALKING or telling anyone what their number is, the group must get themselves in correct numerical order. THIS ACTIVITY IS PLAYED IN TOTAL SILENCE!! The children must use silent communication. Great for thinking skills and strategy!! See some new class leaders emerge!!!

PLACE VALUE ROLL

Small or large group activity

Skill: place value

Materials needed:
paper, pencil, dice

Students make lines on their papers. Depending on the grade level, they could make 3 lines for hundreds, 4 lines for thousands, etc. One student rolls the dice. All students put the number rolled on one line of their place value paper. When all the lines are filled up, the students tell their numbers. The student that has the highest number wins.

HURKLE

Small or large group activity

Skills:
naming points on a coordinate grid, using compass directions

Materials needed:
Hurkle paper, pencil, marker, Hurkle

Review the directions for naming coordinates. Explain compass directions North, South, East, West, Northeast, Southwest, etc. Choose a leader for the first game. Other players should have a turn leading later games. The leader decides on a point where the Hurkle is hiding and announces that the fuzzy creature is hiding behind a point on the grid. The other players need to discover what that point is. Players take turns guessing coordinates, naming them by ordered pairs, such as (6,5). The leader responds to each guess with a clue, telling the players what direction they need to go from their guess to find the Hurkle. For example if the Hurkle is hiding at (6,8), and the guess is (2,4), the leader will say “Go northeast.” Play continues until someone discovers where Hurkle is hidden.

MONEY STICKS

Large group activity

Skill: counting money, coin recognition

Materials needed: money sticks

Cut construction paper into 2″ x 4″ strips. Use money stamps or punch out money from math books and color-coordinated the strips and coins (Example -nickels on the red, pennies on the purple, etc.). Laminate the strips. Place a variety of strips in an envelope for each child. Call out an amount of money and have the children hold up the strips showing that amount. The teacher can quickly check at a glance to see if they have counted out the correct amount. A variation is to have the children add or subtract money amounts and show that amount. The teacher can also have the children show various amounts with a various number of coins. (Example – show 25 cents with one strip; show 25 cents with 3 strips; show 25 cents with 4 strips, etc.)

10 Classroom Games for Improving Math Skills
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