Everyone knows how to play bingo, but have you ever thought about how useful number bingo actually is in your classroom? It’s been a favourite of mine for quite some time and I am excited to share my routine and organisation with you today! My helpful tips can also be used during literacy centres and whole class literacy group activities. It really is the perfect whole class games to play when we need a quick number warm up or have a spare 5 minutes.
Do you love playing games with your students and want some free number games? Download 5 of my favourite Maths Games here!
Number Bingo to Teach Maths
If I start to think about when I was first exposed to using bingo in my (future) classroom I am traveling all the way back to the 90s! I am lucky enough that a family friend knew I was interested in becoming a teacher and would let me come and visit her classroom anytime I could. When school was finished for year for senior high schoolers, I would head off her to her classroom and help. I learnt so much from her experience and love of teaching and her maths warms ups were absolutely amazing! Full of teaching and learning, no messing around and quick and easy to set up.
Fast forward to present day and my love for structured, purposeful maths warm ups has continued. On of my favourite maths warm ups? B-I-N-G-O!
I remember first playing bingo with my class, pretty sure it took longer than 5 minutes just to set it up and then there was so much chatter that it was driving me crazy! I remember thinking it was a waste of time to even try and play it! But, like everything, as my routines improved and I actually thought about why I was playing number bingo, we fell into a more comfortable routine.
Why Use Number Bingo?
Firstly, why should you use number bingo in your class? Like all warm ups or 5 minute fillers, it is important to have a number of games ready to go at anytime so that students don’t get bored of one game. While Bingo is engaging and students love it, playing it everyday is going to get boring. So it is definitely an occasional warm up activity.
Number Bingo helps develop number sense
The first reason is that number bingo can assist in developing students number sense. Number sense is essentially the working with numbers and understanding numbers. Concepts like counting quantities, more and less, ordinal number, making comparisons and seeing the relationships between numbers.
A variety of bingo games are shown below that help students practise basic numbers, numbers as pictures, words and numbers and as place value.
Playing Number Bingo helps teach number identification
Bingo can help students identify numbers in a fun and competitive (dare I say it!) way. I don’t usually like games where students can win or loose, however, because winning bingo is based on chance, I will allow it!
Calling out numbers as you pull them out of a bag, or roll a dice, helps students connect hearing numbers with the symbols. As always, you will always have children who need some extra assistance identifying numbers and that’s where other students helping can come in very handy.
Because Number Bingo is fun!
An easy one, because playing Number Bingo is fun! If the purpose of warm ups is to have fun, be engaged in an activity and get our brains ready to learn, bingo is the perfect whole class game. The suspense of what number is going to be pulled out next has students on the edge of their seats!
Want to know more about how I engage my learners in maths games? Download my FREE guide at mathfullearners.com/games.
How to Set Up Your Classroom
Setting up Number Bingo is easy. It is the perfect game to come in after recess, students collect their resources and head straight to their tables ready to play! Let’s have a closer look at how I set up bingo in my classroom.
Students will need to collect a game board (or small whiteboard/piece of paper if students are coming up with their own game boards) and enough counters for each space on the bingo board.
I recommend getting students in the habit of placing the number of counters they will need above the game card. Counters are easy to collect, students can easily see how many spaces are left and they won’t get distracted by not having the materials that they need.
Have a game card printed and laminated for each student. If you have a large class, simply copy off a few doubles. It means that possibly two students will get bingo at the same time, but that’s ok! Each child has a game board in front of them.
Play by pulling numbers out of a hat/bag one at a time. Place the numbers in order on the table. As you call the numbers out, students cover the number with a counter.
I always play first 3 in a row, then whole board.
When a child calls out Bingo, ask them to call out the numbers on their card. You will easily be able to check if they are correct if you have laid all the cards out in front of you.
I don’t always finish the bingo game. The winner usually receives a point or a sticker and we play a few more rounds. Then students can switch cards with a friend or someone on their table and play another game.
Here are some of my favourite bingo games.
Download them at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
Place Value Bingo takes a different approach to standard bingo. In place value bingo, the students write a number (eg. 3-digit number) then the teacher pulls out cards (eg. 5 hundreds) – if students have that number in the correct place value then they cross out that number. I love it and you can play it all the way up to the millions (although, I will admit, it takes a while)!
Want to download you own fun Maths Bingo cards for your classroom? Click here to see my whole bundle of fabulous games, ready for you to print, laminate and use straight away!
Do you want to learn great strategies for using Maths Games in an engaging and worthwhile way in your classroom? Visit mathfullearners.com/games for to download my FREE guide!