# Games for Teaching Math

## Games for Teaching Math

Some students seem to have a natural aptitude for math, easily grasping concepts and performing well. For other students, however, learning mathematical operations can be a challenge. One method of teaching students math is to use games that make learning fun. If the students enjoy learning, they want to learn.

The following games can be used to teach math at any level. They reinforce what the students are learning while allowing them to develop speed and accuracy through practice.

**Board races** – Divide the class into two teams. One student from each team goes to the board. You give them a math problem, which they write on the board and solve. The student who finishes fastest earns a point for their team.

This game lets students compete, and it lets them practice performing math quickly. It also allows you to see who is having trouble performing operations quickly and accurately. By observing the students playing the game, you can figure out what areas need more work, and whether there are students who need extra attention in some areas.

**Grid game** – With the chart game, you have at least two teams and you create a grid for each team. The grids can be on the board or on chart paper. The grids should be numbered from 1 to 9, both down and across. Tell students at the beginning of the game what type of operation they will be doing – addition, subtraction, multiplication or division. One student from each team races to their team’s grid and fills in one of the boxes for the grid. For example, if you are doing multiplication, they would put a 6 in the box where the 3 column and the 2 row meet.

Let the other students know they need to watch their team members. If they see a wrong answer, they can correct it for their turn.

The first team to fill in the entire grid correctly wins.

This game lets students practice any operation that you are currently studying.

After the game, you can use the chart to show patterns in the numbers. For example, in multiplication games, you can show how the digits in answers to 9s problems equal 9.

Bingo – For math bingo, the numbers on the bingo card are answers to math problems. The caller calls out math problems and students place marks or chips on the answers to the problems. This can be played with any number operation, or with a combination of operations. To prevent confusion or misunderstanding when calling out the problems, you can use flash cards to show the problems, too.

Think of other games the students would enjoy and find ways to incorporate math learning. For example, Monopoly requires counting money, adding and multiplying to figure out prices for houses and hotels, percentages for luxury tax, and adding and counting to be able to move around the board. UNO can be modified so students have to perform mathematical operations between the card on top of the discard pile and the one they are getting ready to put down. The main idea is to make learning fun. Don’t be afraid to have students who are laughing and having a good time.

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