Updated August, 2020
Do you believe that one of the best ways to learn is by using a variety of activities, including games? If so, then we agree!
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) Games
Do you remember playing Truth or Dare when you were younger? Well, I’ve brought the concept to the classroom by taking math (and ELA) concepts and creating questions that are:
1) true or false and more fact- based (Truth question) or
2) multiple choice or open-ended and more application-based/more challenging math or ELA questions (Dare questions).
To play, students are in groups, and they can choose a Truth or a Dare question. They get one point if they answer the Truth question correctly. If students choose a more challenging Dare question, a correct answer will boost their score faster; Dare questions are worth 2 or 3 points.
I've converted all my paper Math and ELA Truth or Dare Games to Google Slides, so students can have fun with these versions too!
Truth or Dare is one of my favorites middle school games; it really gets the students excited and engaged. AND, it can be used in any subject area!
I’ve always loved the dice game Yahtzee!, so I decided to create my own little spin on it. In this case, middle school math students practice converting fractions to decimals. They love rolling the dice and creating the fraction pairs.
The challenge comes when they have to convert those fractions into decimals or whole numbers. This activity can be a little challenging to start, but it only takes a few turns before students learn the rules and get the hang of this math game. It’s an incredibly engaging math activity for small groups, and could even be played as a whole class, allowing different students to roll the dice and decide which fraction pairs to create. It's also great as a center activity!
Footloose Task Card Games (Math and a couple ELA)
With Footloose Task Cards, students answer various types of questions about math (and ELA) concepts - sometimes they are basic knowledge questions, sometimes they're simple word problems, and sometimes they're quite challenging. It's easy to differentiate using these cards:-)
Students move around to get a new Footloose task card 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 can be during this time!
For more details about how to play Footloose, check out this blog post.
Math Color By Number
Coloring for adults is a big trends at the moment, and it's become a great activity to incorporate into math class:-) Color by number activities are great as review before a math test, as homework, as assessments, as math center activities, for sub days, and for fast finishers.
Recently, I've created several digital color by number activities! Although these don't offer the same benefits that physical coloring offers, they still provide engaging math practice:-)
A couple other math activities I love arePentomino Exploration and playing Equivalent Fraction Go Fish!
We could list middle school games and activities for days:-) What are some of your favorites?
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