Bingo - an oldie but goodie!
This post is from my old blog (and adjusted some:-), sharing how I used algebraic equations bingo in my 6th grade math class.
Even in middle school, math students have a great time with bingo! We've used the algebraic equations bingo to practice and review for an upcoming test and to revisit the concept of solving equations before we tackled solving equations with fractions and decimals.
The Algebraic Equations Bingo set has 11 different bingo cards (printable sheets). Students solve the one-step equations found on their cards before we play, so they know what numbers they're listening for instead of scrambling to figure out answers once we start calling numbers. When I use this activity, I don't laminate the cards, because I like the fact that students can solve and write their answers right on the cards. This makes the numbers a bit easier for students to find when I call them. However, if you have good dry erase markers so students can solve on the cards and then completely erase the ink, laminating would be great for reusing every year - it would definitely cut down on the copying!
Back to School Activities
Always looking for new ideas for the beginning of the year? Me too!
I've got a few for you and your students, for when you head back to school!
The Name Game
I used this game for many years.....many times I'd plan not to, but then I couldn't stand not knowing kids' names right away, so we'd play:-) Students and I get into a big circle, and I ask students to come up with an adjective that describes them and begins with the same sound as the beginning of their first name, like 'Energetic Ellie." The first student to my left shares his/her name; the 2nd student repeats the 1st student's name and then shares his own. The third student repeats the first two names/adjectives, and adds her own. The activity continues in this way around the circle until we get to me, and I get to repeat all the names.
This game helps me to get to know all the students' names during the first class session. It also helps me learn about the students - it tells me who seems to have a good memory and who has more difficulty. I can see who appears to be confident and who is more hesitant; who's willing to accept help (I always prompt if they want/need) and who isn't. And of course, their adjectives usually tell me something about them:-)
Getting to Know You Truth or Dare
Truth or Dare - kids are intrigued when they hear the name! “Math Truth or Dare – Getting to Know You” is a set of 30 questions you can use to get to know your students and to help your students get to know each other.
There are 15 “Truth” question cards and 15 “Dare” question cards. Most of them do not have a “correct” answer, so if more than 15 students choose to answer a “truth” question or a “dare” question, then the questions can be used again.
The Truth questions ask about the students, while the Dare questions ask students to complete math computations (some of the computations are based on facts about the student, so these can also be used again, as students’ answers may be different.) You can grab this freebie on TPT or as part of the free download if you opt in for my email updates.
I'm sure you use a variety of review activities in your elementary or middle school classroom - have you ever used Footloose activities? I've mentioned the activity in my blog posts before, but have never really explained it on this blog (I did on my old one, maybe 5(!) years ago), so unless you've used one of my Footloose activities in your classroom, you might not know how it works. It's an activity that is enjoyed by students of all ages, and can be used with just about any topic you're teaching. I use it mostly for math, because that's what I teach; but in the past, when I taught different grade levels, I used it as a review activity in other subject areas as well.
It's amazing how quiet and engaged students are when completing this activity. They are up and down, out of their seats, and you'd think they'd be very distracted...but no matter what the grade level (I've used it with 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grades), students stay focused and work hard to complete the questions!
Have you played the math game, Krypto? It's a great activity for problem solving, reasoning, and practicing math skills (fractions!), and I think your students will love it!
Krypto is an activity I learned about at a conference where Dr. Lola May presented (in like 1993, I think!). I didn't realize until a long time afterwards that it was a commercial game that could be purchased :-) I believe it's also available as an app now.
I've used the game idea from time to time, following the rules as laid out in the book I got at the conferece. Krypto can be played with whole numbers or fractions (and with positive and negative integers as well, I'm sure!).
Playing Krypto With Fractions
The rules are simple (kind of like the "24" game):
1. Choose 5 common fractions, with denominators of halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, eighths, tenths or twelfths.
2. Students add, subtract, multiply, and/or divide the fractions to make the 5 fractions equal the target number of 1.
3. Students receive points for meeting the target number of 1. For example, if they reach the target of 1 using only 3 numbers, they get 300 pts; 4 numbers = 400 pts; if they use all 5 numbers, they get 1,000 pts. You can set up the point system any way you'd like. Krypto can be used as a team effort/team game or individual enrichment activity.
Do you believe that one of the best ways to learn is by using a variety of activities, including games? I do!
It’s just more fun and students don’t even realize how much they’re learning.
While any game that helps kids learn is a winner in my book, I have some wonderful middle school games and activities I’ve created to use at home or in the classroom.
Truth or Dare Math (and ELA) Game
Remember playing Truth or Dare when you were younger? I’ve brought the concept to the classroom and incorporated math and language arts concepts (and Google classroom!). Students can choose a Truth, which is a one-point questions about the concepts. Or, they can boost their score faster with a more challenging Dare question. It’s one of my favorites among middle school games and it really gets the students excited.
I’ve always loved the dice game Yahtzee!, so I decided to create my own little spin on it. Students love rolling the dice and creating fraction pairs. The challenge comes when they have to convert those fractions into decimals or whole numbers. It only takes a few turns before students learn the rules. It’s an incredibly engaging game for small to large groups.
Footloose Task Card Games (Math and a couple ELA)
Why should learning concepts be boring? I’m always looking for and creating middle school math and ELA games to get students more engaged. With Footloose Task Cards, students answer various types of questions about math (and ELA) concepts - sometimes they are basic knowledge questions, sometimes they're word problems, and sometimes they're quite challenging. It's easy to differentiate using these cards:-) Students move around to get new Footloose cards each time they complete one, and they write all their answers and work on their Footloose grids. It's a great way to keep students practicing and moving - and it's amazing how quiet they are during this time!
Math Color By Number
Coloring for adults is one of the biggest trends at the moment, and it's become a great way to help students practice math concepts:-) I’ve put together a fun bundle that uses the color by number approach to make it more fun to learn and practice probability, algebraic expressions, prime factorization, combining like terms and more. While I do offer each separately, the bundle’s a great resource to have on hand as practice for a variety of math concepts for 6th and 7th graders.
I could list my own middle school games and activities, and those of others, for days. But for now, try out the ones above, check out the other activities I’ve created on Teachers Pay Teachers and keep coming back to the blog for more games and great resources.
Other posts you might like:
When my youngest daughter was in 5th grade, I had the opportunity to take a general leave and homeschool her for half the year (not enough time, but I'll always be grateful for it!) As I was at that time, I'm always on the lookout for math games that can be used for homeschoolers or for parents who don't homeschool but want to help enrich their students' learning!
Playing games is a fun, educational way to help students grasp a wide variety of math concepts. The great part is they can play with each other or you. With so many games to choose from, it can be hard to choose the right ones. Here are a few suggestions:
Sumoku is a crosswords style game, but with numbers. It features five different play modes. It’s designed to grow with your child and is made for ages 8 to adult.
Equate: The Equation Thinking Game
Think of Equate: The Equation Thinking Game as Scrabble for math. I love Scrabble, but I enjoy the challenging math version too. It’s designed to help students better understand equations by creating their own on the board and building upon others.
A great math game for teaching prime numbers and critical thinking is Prime Club. Players must work their way to 101 by using division, multiplication, addition and subtraction. It’s made for ages 10 and up, though it can be played with younger homeschoolers.
Kitki Three Sticks
Kitki Three Sticks makes geometry about far more than just memorizing shapes. I’ve found kids remember more when they’re able to engage with the subject matter in a fun way. This game challenges them to interact with geometrical shapes in new ways, helping them experience shapes in a memorable way. The game is actually listed as a STEM toy.
Math Card War
Math Card War is one of the cheapest games on this list, but I think it’s still highly effective for homeschoolers. All you need is a standard deck of playing cards. It plays like the classic War card game, but with math concepts. All the rules and variations for everything from addition to logarithms are listed on the Math Card War site.
Playing With Dice
While that isn’t the name of a game, The Teacher Next Door provides several different math games using nothing but a set of dice. They’re ideal for learning basic math all the way through area and perimeter.
I like a good brain teaser and the MindTrap series of geometrical brain teaser games is perfect for helping your homeschooler master geometry.
Of course, games like Life, Monopoly, UNO and Yahtzee are all ideal for teaching math skills.
And you can always create your own unique games - as long as students are having fun and learning, it’s a great game.
This is a post from my previous blog - I can't believe I've had this freebie out for nearly four years! I'm glad so many people have gotten to use it!
This is a Footloose game to help students practice finding areas and perimeters of rectangles. This Footloose game includes 30 question cards that require students to: calculate area and perimeter of rectangles: find missing sides; find perimeter when given the area and a side length; compare areas and perimeters of rectangles.
When playing Footloose, students solve every problem and record their answers in the corresponding box on the Footloose grid that they each receive.
To get the freebie, click on the Footloose picture and download! I hope you can use it (if you haven't already:-).
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Hi, I'm Ellie! My mission here is to support teachers as they work to provide engaging, meaningful experiences for their students. I've been in education for 25 years, teaching all subject areas at both the elementary and middle school levels, and am here to share what I've learned through those years, as well as what I continue to learn. I hope you'll find some ideas or resources here to help you out!