Maths Games are my jam! Are they yours? I have had 15 years to perfect my lesson planning, incorporate maths games like a whizz and get amazing results! After posting How to Engage Your Learners with Easy Maths Games, I have been asked some questions, so I thought I would answer some of those questions today!
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Why are your tips so successful?
Classroom management is definitely the key. Once you have your expectations and routines set up, you can try any game with the class and it will be successful. You need to consider your class cohort, classroom space and your teaching style when setting up anchor charts and putting routines into place. But my number 1 tip is, think of everything!
I feel like there is so much I have to think about, surely it takes longer than 10/15 minutes?
Believe it or not, there is a lot to set up initially, but it pays off big time in the long run. Go over routines and expectations frequently at the start of the year, really emphasising what your expectation is. A few weeks in, it will all become automatic and get much faster. Knowing that you can teach this game and don’t have to worry about trying to settle an argument over partners, or tell off a group for being under the table means you can fully concentrate on learning.
How often do you play the same game?
This really depends on the focus and complexity of the game. After introducing the game, I will always play a game a few times that week so it is fresh in student’s brain. Then when I come back to it, students will remember how to play. Depending on the skill being practised, I might come back to the game regularly or occasionally. Sometimes games are a roaring success, other times they are just a bit blah! Definitely mix it up as much as you can so students don’t become bored with playing the same game. As soon as they start to lose interest, stop playing that game and use another. You want games to be exciting and interesting for the students so don’t overuse a game just because it is easy to set up and you remember how to play it!
Does the Maths Game have to match the content I am teaching?
No, it definitely doesn’t. Although I try to align the maths game with the content I am teaching in the lesson, it doesn’t always work out that way. If I am teaching my students different strategies for solving addition sums, then I will absolutely have an addition warm-up. If we are investigating the weight of different objects in our classroom, I might have a number warm up just to get their brains switched into gear. No matter what you choose, make sure the game is not new content, rather building on existing knowledge and understanding.
How do I differentiate Maths Games?
Very easily! Check out my blogpost How to Successfully Differentiate Maths Games for all Students for more information.
My school doesn’t have sets of dice and cards for every classroom, what should I do?
Purchase your own set! I have my own set of dice and playing cards and have never regretted it. Moving schools and moving grade levels frequently meant that I always had all the resources I need.
Some of my favourites are:
Where can I find great Maths Games?
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