The school year will be winding down before we know it. In these last few months of first grade, I like to be sure that my students are given the chance to practice as many math skills as possible. There is so much we learned throughout first grade! It helps me feel like my students are ready for second grade when I know I have intentionally given them extra practice in the skills they need.
But skill practice at the end of the year can definitely be boring! If end of your review typically looks like worksheets and packets in your classroom, I have a way to mix things up! Math games!
Benefits of Games in the Classroom
When you give students extra skill practice through games, they don’t even realize how hard they’re working! This is a huge plus to me. My goal as a teacher is to help my students grow, but you also foster a love of learning. I think that using games in my math block is a great way to do both.
If you want to work more games into your math block, check this list of a few of my favorites! These are great to work into your centers, to use as early finishers, or to play in small groups!
‘Four Alarm' is a fun way for students to practice place value! In this two-player game, students roll two die. As they add the numbers together, they climb the ladder. As the sums climb into 2-digit numbers, students must place their marks in tens and ones columns to show the place value of each digit. The first one to climb the ladder and get the fire at ‘100' is the winner!
This math game is a great way to review odd and even numbers! Students take turns rolling a dice. If they roll an odd number, they move one space. An even number means they may move two spaces. The first student to make it to the top of the snake is the winner!
Peek-a-Boo cards are a fun twist on traditional task cards. Place the cards on a ring for students to use as flash cards. These cards are printed front and back, so the answers are on the back. But, there is a hole punched in the answer space. Before flipping the cards over, students must slide a piece of paper into the empty answer box and write their own answers. These cards cover facts up to 20, which is perfect for the end of first grade!
Happy Hippo builds logic and reasoning skills, which is something our students can work on any time of year! Students will use strategy to feed their hippos, and try to beat the other players!
There's also a digital version of Happy Hippo, too!
These domino mats help students review a variety of skills! Because dominoes are hands on, they are extra engaging. Students use these mats to practice addition, missing addends, subtraction, and problem solving!
This game is like tic tac toe…but with a twist! Students take turns solving the addition and subtraction problems on the mats. If one student gets the correct answer, they place their X or O on the mat in the space. Students must use math skills AND strategy skills to play this game!
These cards review several skills at once! Students clip clothespins to cards to match the correct answers to what the center of the card shows. This is a great way to work some fine motor practice into math!
Using the games above, your students will be engaged in skill review, and you will see their foundational skills grow!
Do you have a math game you love? Leave a comment and let me know!