Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Playing Math Games to Strengthen Important Skills

I find games to be a great way to learn and develop skills.

Brain research tells us that adding the element of fun connects the memory.  Isn't that a great reason to play learning games?

I tend to teach a game during small group instruction time, so I can watch the children play and make sure they are focused on the learning goal.  I'll have them play a couple of times with guidance before I let them  play on their own.

After a game has been introduced and practiced, it will be available as a choice during math stations or centers.  There are times when certain children are assigned a particular game as well.

It's a good idea to allow the children to play games below their level, as these are important skills that should be mastered in order to perform the higher skills with ease.  Just because the skills are easy, doesn't mean they don't have value!  In fact, if the game isn't somewhat easy, it won't be fun for the children.  Also, if the game isn't somewhat easy, the children will be more likely to make mistakes which won't help them master the skills.  I've learned "practice makes permanent", and we don't want to make incorrect skills permanent, do we?  If you've ever had to unlearn a bad habit, you'll know what I mean!

Please see THIS POST I did a few weeks ago on Raki's Rad Resources for some ideas on using a regular deck of cards for practicing fast facts.


I have a series of BINGO games that I designed to go along with second grade Common Core Standards.  (They all have a sports theme, which is my class theme this year!)  I find once they learn the format of a particular game, it takes less time to teach a similar game, meaning more time practicing each skill!

The one to the left (Par 3, with a golf theme) is designed to support CCSS 2.OA.1  Add and subtract within 20.  Click HERE for the freebie which includes 4 game boards.  Click HERE for the full set, which includes 9 game boards.

Here are a few other math games, links, and the CCSS standards for which they are designed:
  • Hat Trick Place Value - (BINGO with an ice hockey theme) CCSS 2.NBT.1 Understand that the trhee digits of a three-digit number represents amounts of hundreds, tens, and ones.  
  • Strike Telling Time - (BINGO with a bowling theme) CCSS 2.MD.7 Tell and write time from analog and digital clocks to the nearest five minutes, using a.m. and p.m.
  • Home Run 2 Digit Addition - (BINGO with a baseball theme) CCSS 2.NBT.6 Add up to four two-digit numbers using strategies based on place value and properties of operations.
  • Touchdown Add and Subtract Ten - (BINGO with a football theme)  CCSS 2.NBT.8  Mentally add 10 or 100 to a given number 100 - 900 and mentally subtract 10 or 100 from a given number 100 - 900.
Come on over to Elementary Matters to see more games to practice Math skills!
Games are a great way to build skills AND have fun!  Enjoy!

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