Sunday, 5 March 2017

The Benefits of Math Games

Math games allow students to practice computational strategies, one-to-one correspondence, sequencing, place value, and patterning just to name a few.  I often begin a math unit with a quick math game to provide a peek of what the unit will be exploring.  Each unit also ends with a fun game.

For example, this past week I was working with students on the measures of central tendency:  mean, median, mode and range.  These are not easy concepts to understand especially when  needing to generate them through stem and leaf plots, double bar graphs, broken line graphs, etc.

I bought a deck of cards and removed all the faces.  We were left with 40 cards.  The numbers were 1 through 10 (ace became a 1).  Each student was asked to draw 7 cards from the deck and then line them up in order from least to greatest.

Here's an example of numbers drawn:

2 - 6 - 7 - 7 - 9 - 9 - 10

 I created a small chart for them to follow. It looked like this:  


For each set generated, students would determine the mean, median, mode and range and then add the scores up.  Where there was more than one mode, I encouraged the students to choose the higher one.  The student with the highest score won that round.  The students played for 5 rounds.

Games like this allow students in groups of 2 or 3 to play.  Many of them loved the game so much that they wanted to play it again. 

I have created some of my own games for students to play.  They involve strategy, critical thinking and development of computational fluency.  Games often allow students to access benchmark numbers to generate responses.  

Some of the games include:

For a complete math games bundle, this pack includes number cards, time game, decimal game, place value games, basic operations games, odd and even numbers, and equivalent fractions games.  These games are great for a family math night or for a math games day.   

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