Friday, October 21, 2011

Math Games!

This year I have started doing math games 3 times a week while I work with small groups. I have been wanting to start something like this for a while but couldn't seem to figure out how to make it work. I can't do math rotations for my entire time but my math time backs up to my team time/intervention time so I have my kiddos do math games while I work with a group of students.

I needed a good way to organize all of the materials. I used extra book baskets and made labels for them. I store the bins on a rolling cart that can be taken apart. I've had it for college and used it for storing things at school and home. The great part is that it rolls! I can't really have things in permanent places since I have to pack up my classroom every 9 weeks.

When it's time for math rotations I simply roll the cart to the carpet so that the kids can simply grab the basket they need.

Game #1 - Pumpkin Poke Addition - A great FREE Teachers Pay Teachers find. The kids "poke" the correct pumpkin using a pencil and check the answer on the back. The correct answer has a green circle around the punched hole.

Game #2 - Power Towers - From Teacher Tipster. This is such a popular choice right now. After someone chooses Power Towers there is a big sigh of disappointment from everyone else. I need to make a subtraction one soon! I have my kiddos do this one on the carpet so it's quiet.

Game #3 - Hundreds Board - I found this cute activity from Christina Bainbridge. I have the kids roll a die onto the hundreds board and then write the number the die lands on in the middle square and then figure out what 10 less, 10 more, 1 less, and 1 more are and write them in.

Game #4 - Race to 100 - Great for practicing regrouping 10 ones for a 10 stick. I found this cute safari one on TPT from Primary Graffiti.

When I first introduced math game time to the kids I MODELED each and every game in front of them. Some of them they had played before, others were new. I chose students to model for the class how to play the games, clean them up, and put the bins back on the cart.

We also had a big talk about using a "whisper voice" during math game time just like during Read to Someone in Daily 5. I limit the number of students I allow to Read to Someone to 6 during Daily 5 but during math games every child is working with a partner so the volume can quickly increase. The first day we did math games it was NOT quiet. I was very frustrated as I tried to work with my small group.

The following day we reviewed using a whisper voice again and practiced touching our hands to our throats to feel vibrations. If you can't feel the vibrations of your vocal chords when you speak then you are whispering. My Aunt (a 5th grade teacher) taught me this one and I love it! They did SO much better that day. I also told them that my assistant would be looking for the quietest pair to give them 10 eagle bucks. I am so not above bribery.

Stay tuned to see the rest of my math games!


  1. Yay! Thanks for the great links to tpt! I reblogged (and printed while I was blogging!) :) Good luck in second grade!

  2. Do you offer the labels as a printable? It would also be great if you had the math story problem book as a printable. What is a math mountain? thanks for all your ideas-great blog!

  3. I love the containers. Where did you get them?

  4. I love the containers too! I love seeing Safari Place Value in your work station!

    Primary Graffiti

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  6. HEY! I thought I sent thisthe other day so sorry if its a dup! I think you have great ideas and would love to know how you have time to get to every thing you do. Would you mind sending me or posting a copy of you classroom daily schedule. I am also curious why you have to move every 9 weeks!!!!

  7. Great post and helpful!Love how you teach whispering! GREAT Tip! Love your totes for math! I hope to find some like that. Bright and cheery and can hold a lot! Grabbing the games. Thanks so much!

  8. I love these games. Do you have a copy of your labels? I love them.

  9. Do you have a copy of the labels?

  10. i think that is really good for every one. so regards to your for this wonderful!! I have truly enjoyed your blog and have gotten some great ideas/lessons about Addition Math Games and Math Practice Games
    from you! I appreciate you making and sharing this resource (and all others:). I can't wait to share it with my team!

  11. I'd love to have a copy of your labels! :)

  12. I'd love to have a copy of your labels! :)