If you are like me, you love to have fun math games to play in the classroom. They not only review math concepts, but they are engaging and entertaining! Sometimes, the math games get out of control, and students may argue or goof around when they are supposed to be working. Here are some of my top teacher tips to help manage math games in the classroom.
Managing and Bringing in Fun Math Games to Play in the Classroom
Math games are a great resource and help students practice math concepts in many different ways. But, when the fun starts rolling and kids begin to really enjoy themselves, things can become harder to manage. It is always important to have classroom management strategies for activities such as math games or independent centers.
Tip #1: Small Groups
Keeping small groups of 2-3 students will help keep the party under control. The larger the groups, the more likely students are to get distracted by side conversations, and the math skills practice starts to waver. Social emotional learning is such an important part of the classroom, and students will get to practice skills like self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills while playing these games as well.
Tip #2: Creative Groupings
If you have easily distracted students or students who often try to push the boundaries, it is best to try and pair them up with friends, place them near you, or even play alongside them! All students love when their teacher joins the in class math games! You always want to keep the learning fun, even if there is one student who may need a little more support than others.
Tip #3: Expectations
Before starting any games, gives students the “talk” NO! Not that talk! Discuss how students can use the games to help reteach topics such as place value or to review math facts. This review and fun time is all about the math, not the game itself. Having posted expectations is always helpful as well!
Tip #4: Whole Class Games
Before you send students off on their own to play the games, go over the rules, how to play, and the expectations. No matter what game your students are in. Whether you are discussing first grade math games or math games for 4th grade, giving the practice and the breakdown of each game will help students achieve.
Tip #5: Predictable Game Play
Using a math game bundle like this one which has the same type of directions or if the game works the same as previous games the students have used, can really help with the management. Plus, you will not need to give students directions every time you introduce a new game. Kids love not having to read the directions, and although it usually is very important with math games, we just want them to review the concepts like fact fluency.
Fun Math Games to Play in the Classroom
Math games for the classroom are not all about fun and can help students review and learn a range of different math concepts. When deciding to bring math games into the classroom, whether it is a simple numbers game, math board game, or dice game, remember to always go over expectations and use the tips above to make the review time worth it!
These blog posts are all about some of the awesome math games concepts!
Teaching Fractions to Upper Elementary Students
Tips for Teaching Adding and Subtracting Decimals
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