Basic Math Skills Games

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    • Basic math skills, such as addition and subtraction, often bore students in school. However, incorporating games into the classroom helps students enjoy the learning process and reinforces key math skills. When planning a basic math game, take the age level of the class and the difficulty of the math subject into account, adjusting the game based on your students' abilities.

    Wild West Math

    • The Wild West Math game reinforces basic operations such as addition and subtraction. Take a deck of cards and remove the Jokers and all the face cards. Next, get two volunteers from the classroom. Have the pair stand back to back and hand each one a playing card. Each student cannot look at the card but must hold it up above her head. When they are ready, get the pair to turn and face the class who must must silently add the two numbers together.

      When you say, "1, 2, Math," the class must shout out the sum of the two cards. At the same time, the volunteers will turn towards each other and see the other person's card. She must then quickly do the math to determine her own number. The first player to say the number in her hand wins. This game works well with subtraction as well.

    Popsicle Math

    • For this simple game, write the numbers "0" to "9" on the end of individual Popsicle sticks, making five duplicates of each number for a total of 50 sticks. Place all the sticks number-side down in a cup. Divide the class into groups of two. For younger students who are just learning the basics of numbers, have each person draw a Popsicle stick. Whoever in the pair has the higher number keeps the sticks. For students who know some addition, subtraction or multiplication basics, play the game by having each student draw two sticks. The students must then perform a predetermined operation, such as addition, with their two numbers. Whoever has the higher number keeps all the sticks. Play continues until all the sticks are gone.

    Math Jeopardy

    • For a mathematical twist on a familiar game show, play Math Jeopardy. On the board, draw a large box. Make several columns with headings such as "Addition," "Multiplication" or "Fractions." The column headings will be determined by the skill level of your students. Then, write several point values down the side of the box, such as $100, $200, $300 and so on. On blank pieces of paper, pen down a math problem for each individual box. The more difficult the math problem, the more money it'll earn the player. Divide the class into three or four teams, and stage a Math Jeopardy show.


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