Thursday, August 11, 2016

Seven Reasons to Use Math Games ... and a Freebie, Too!!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

You can find so many great activities on Pinterest and at TpT for the first weeks of school, emphasizing community building, establishing and practicing classroom rules, and setting the tone for your learning environment. But chances are you already have a great tool in your arsenal for this - partner math games! Think games like roll and cover, four in a row, and bump - you've already got 'em, right? Have you considered including partner math games as a part of your back to school activities?

Here's a quick rundown on the great value of time spent on partner games at the beginning of school.

You've spent the time with your students creating, discussing, and modeling the rules. Now's the time to practice them. Review your rules briefly before you send your partners off to play partner games. Then, after the games, gather the class together and go through the rules again one by one. Have your students  decide on an overall rating of how they think they did with the rules ( a range of happy faces or not so good/okay/very good work well as ratings for K-1s). You could even chart the results for a few days to look for improvement.

Partner games encourage one-to-one conversation, to get to know new classmates up close and personal. Consider tossing out a quick "getting to know you" question before partners begin their games ... "Ask your partner what their favorite playground game is", "Find out your partner's favorite color", etc.  Build relationships even more by switching partners frequently!

Using polite words, taking turns, knowing how to be a good winner and a good loser - there will be lots of opportunities to reinforce these critical social skills when your students play partner games.

Game time is a great time for informal observation of your students' skills.  At back to school time, choosing games that use skills from the previous grade level will give you a quick overview of who and what needs reviewing. Just jot some quick notes for yourself as you cruise the room!

Game time may also give you a few moments to sneak in some one-on-one assessments. Uninterrupted time for assessment early in the year? Wow, that's a bonus!!

The first few weeks of your math curriculum are likely to be very heavy on review. Choose the topics of your games carefully and your students may well surprise you with how quickly you can move through those early lessons!

Let your students see right from the beginning that your classroom is a place where learning will be fun, but also a place where academics are the number one priority!  Playing games will remind your students that there are many ways to learn, and that learning is fun!

Could you use a few more partner math games to keep the fun in learning and in teaching in your classroom? Here are two free games that are single-page-no-cards-to-print-or-cut. Got to love easy prep, especially when your poor hands are sore from all that laminating and cutting you've been doing late into the night! These games are samples from a kindergarten set of 20 partner math games - that means they'll be perfect to use for your first graders as back to school math (or for K teachers to use all year!).  Click here or on the picture to get your two free games.

Click here or on the cover below to see the whole set at my TpT store! It includes more easy-prep one page games for ...
   * sequence of numbers
   * addition
   * subtraction
   * mixed addition and subtraction
   * sums of five
   * sums of ten
   * teen numbers
   * geometry

Happy Teaching!


  1. Playing games is the best way for students to build friendships.

  2. Love, love this idea of incorporating math games as part of my BTS activities. Great way to practice social skills and set the tone for the year. Thanks for the ideas!
    Burke's Special Kids

  3. I love the idea of Math games for back to school! Thanks for sharing, Linda!


  4. My second graders love math games and my last class cooperated really well whenever we played them! Enjoying blog hopping with you, Linda! Thanks!
    Reading and Writing Redhead

    1. I hope you'll have another one of those cooperative classes this year, Bex! Hmmm... must have something to do with their good teacher! ;)

  5. What a great way to begin the school year! Who doesn't love games, right? Great post, thank you so much!

    1. Thanks for your encouraging comment! Keep playing games! :)

  6. These are fantastic back to school math games. I am so pleased to have these details here. I am a newbie Phoenix preschool teacher and don’t have much activities to organise for my kids but these educational blogs are helping me a lot regarding this.

    1. Blogs and Pinterest can be a great support for new teachers, Joshua! Best of luck to you as you begin your career!

  7. Very good post, thank you a lot for sharing. Do you have an RSS feed I can subscribe to? nairabet


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...