Math doesn’t always have the best reputation among students as being fun. Yet, research has shown time and time again that games and play-based math activities are effective ways for kids to learn addition, subtraction, fractions, geometry, and more. They can also go a long way in helping kids develop an appreciation for math. So what’s the secret when it comes to making math more fun?
It’s all about having good games and activities that engage students and encourage participation. Here’s some some suggestions to try in your classroom.
Conquer fractions with this free lesson plan.
Fractions are really challenging for a lot of students. Often, it makes a big difference when they can see how different fraction values fit into a whole. This free fraction lesson plan uses exactly this strategy, giving strong visuals to help students truly understand.
Take out the guesswork with engaging math kits.
It’s time to take a break from having to do so much prep work! Keep students engaged with lots of options (while also saving valuable time) with the power of a math kit. Check out more than 15 options here where you can choose by grade or focus areas like coding and algebra. All the kits include hands-on activities and will help kids stay on track with their learning targets.
Run your own live game show.
Knowledgehook is one of the most user-friendly math platforms out there, and there are so many extras to explore on their site. They have great features for online and blended learning. One of them is the ability to have your own live game show with students. This is a great way to check for comprehension and make learning fun. Learn more about this feature and Knowledgehook right here.
Use the power of Star Wars to encourage students to practice.
This isn’t your typical math workbook, though it has plenty of practice pages and math problems to challenge students. Available at several grade levels, the 1st grade book (shown here) features Darth Vader on the cover. Sometimes practice is all about how you position it, so this might be just the thing to send home with students. You can feel good knowing it aligns with common core standards, too.
Turn baking and your favorite recipe into a fun math lesson.
Baking is the perfect time to practice fractions. This free lesson plan challenges students to cut a muffin recipe in half. Challenge students to rewrite the recipe in class. Then when they master this one, have them do the same with a favorite recipe of their own.
Build, count, and learn geometry with Magformers.
Magformers are a student favorite because they mix building with magnets. There are so many ways to use Magformers, including setting them up as math manipulatives for counting, addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Students can also explore using them to make geometric shapes. This set comes with a 50-page math book with activities, giving students challenges and additional ideas. This set is perfect for a math center.
Have regular game days with your early childhood students.
Unstructured play is incredibly important for young minds, so it’s a great excuse to set up regular game days in the classroom. Even simple games like Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, and the card game War can help with counting and basic addition/subtraction. This set of math games are perfect for setting up a math center. There’s a lot of variety here to practice counting, telling time, and addition and subtraction. It’s a great way to help students retain the information they’re learning during math time.
Keep math games going even in the upper grades.
Many times, there’s a lot of focus on play-based learning for early childhood, but then it seems to go by the wayside as students get older. Yet, this is often when students can benefit from it most, especially when it comes to math. These math games are all perfect for students in second grade and up. They take concepts to the next level, including strategizing and making equations.
Turn anything and everything into a game with these Braille math blocks.
Simple blocks can be used for just about any math concept in the classroom. Roll the dice to practice place value. Combine numbers for addition, subtraction, or multiplication. Put the blocks into a mystery box, encouraging kids to learn the Braille symbols as they create their own math equations. The sky is really the limit. Get the blocks here.
Encourage good financial literacy by having a classroom store.
Financial literacy and saving money are concepts that are good to teach at any age, and this play money is perfect for setting up a classroom store. Encourage young kids to set prices of ordinary items like pencils, Post-its, and paper. Then create a tracking and checkout system. Students will love taking charge of the classroom store, and it will teach them financial responsibility, too.
Learning how to make math fun is really pretty easy. As students retain more information and even start looking forward to math, it’ll be clear it was worth the effort.