In a recent blog post, The Teacher Next Door described how to play 8 different math games using dice.
Today I taught my students the simplest of the 8 games.
Most of the games have one or two variations that make them more challenging. Once the kids have the basic game down, they’ll probably want to change things up a bit and the variations will help them do that.
Most of the games, if not all, only require dice, paper and pencil. or individual whiteboards and white board markers.
Today we played Build It Big or Build it Small, a game where you had to either build the largest or the smallest number. I played against the class. First, you decide if you are playing with two, three, four or more place values and draw that number of dashes on your paper or whiteboard. Then, you throw the die once and write the number you roll on either of the dashes. Once you write down a number you can’t change it.
We played a few rounds and kept the game fresh by adding another place value; we went from two- to three-digit numbers. Finally, we tried decimals.
Ten minutes later we had to stop so we could move on to other math activities.
Once again I realized the power of math games. And, I wonder if it would be a good idea or not to play one math game every day as a class. Playing (no matter what game you’re playing) creates a sense of community and camaraderie. And, it’s downright fun!
Today we laughed a lot and the energy in the room was high.
For a class that has found math a challenge so far this year, games level the playing field, elevate engagement, and allow kids to practice important math skills and strategies.
Bring on the games!