Math Games and Math Center Ideas
Learn how to create and implement math games quickly and inexpensively! On this page, you’ll find photos of math games and free printable directions for several of them. You can see how to store and organize these math partner games and introduce them to your class on the Starting Math Game Routines page.
Teacher-Made Math Games for Grades 2-4
Remember, even if you don’t use math partner games, you can still use the activities below as centers, in small groups, or as whole class games! Click on any picture to enlarge it and read the directions.
Facto: Basic Math Fact Practice
Pass Out (Multiplication Practice)
Speed (basic fact practice, any operations students know)
Three In A Row (A game of logic and strategy)
Battle (basic fact practice, any operations)
Add ‘Em Up (multiplication/division facts)
Dice 1000 (3 digit addition and 3 digit multiplication)
Division Go Fish (division fact practice)
Timed 5 Card Operations (all math operations students know/ fact families)
There is also an untimed version.
UPDATE DECEMBER 2012: I am in the process of creating printable directions for the games above and many, many more! If you don’t have the time and energy to make your own centers, just print these out–they’re ready to use!
This project began in December 2012. In the coming months, my plan is to make math games for every Common Core domain for grades 1-5 (Operations and Algebraic Thinking, Number and Operations in Base Ten, Fractions,Measurement and Data, and Geometry.) Below are the printables I have made so far. To receive an email notification when new skills and grade levels are added, follow my store on TeachersPayTeachers! Thank you for your support.
Printable Math Fact Practice Games
After numerous requests, I have finally made a printable set of multiplication KITs and addition KITs! Each download is 171 total pages and is available for $4.50. They include the recording sheets with directions for each KIT, instructions for making the KITs, game boards and game cards, and more. You can download a free preview to see everything that’s included before you buy. I really appreciate your support!
Below are commercially-bought games that took a very short time to turn into math tub activities/partner games.
Clever Catch Ball: Students toss this beach ball gently back and forth; whatever math problem their left thumb lands on, they have to solve. I have one for each of the four math operations. You can also buy plain beach balls at the dollar store and write on them yourself with permanent marker. You can program the balls with parts of speech, countries/capitals, vocabulary words, spelling words (read the word aloud to the partner and they must spell it correctly)… the possibilities are endless! Be sure to have students model how to toss and how not to toss the ball, and don’t be afraid to put away this activity if students get too wild with it.
Many teachers have math bingo games, either store bought or handmade. Pull a few bingo cards from your supply, along with extra chips/ place holders and photocopies of the fact problem cards and you’re ready to go! Students put the fact problem cards in a face-down stack and flip them over one at a time, covering the numbers on their boards as corresponding math problems are shown. The first one with a completely full board wins.
Turn a Worksheet Into a Hands-On Game!
Even worksheets can make great centers and math tubs! The only problem is you must keep a supply of photocopies. About once a month, put a center helper in charge of checking worksheet centers and math tubs to be sure they have enough copies. The student can pull one copy of the sheets that are running low and place it in your file or basket of papers to take to the photocopier. Also, some worksheets are simple enough that older students can copy the graphic organizer or framework onto their own paper. This worksheet is an example of one simple enough that some students could make themselves, especially if you did not require that they copy the pictures of the die.
Download FREE Tips for Simplifying Your Centers!
Are you overwhelmed by the idea of finding, making, and running literacy centers or math centers in your classroom? Centers don’t have to be complicated–you can learn how to create and manage learning centers quickly and easily. This item is a 13 page PDF excerpted from my eBook, The Cornerstone: Classroom Management That Makes Teaching More Effective, Efficient, and Enjoyable.
In just this single chapter (13 pages!), you’ll learn:
-How to decide if centers are the best use of your time (and your students’ time) by weighing the advantages and drawbacks
-Discover activities other than centers that students can do during reading group rotations
-Create a reading group rotation that makes teaching easier for you and more meaningful for your students
-Ensure that centers are serving your intended purpose and moving students toward learning goals
-Learn how centers can be used at different times during the school day (not just during your literacy block)
-Explore how mixed-ability center groups can help you differentiate for students’ individual needs
-Design a system for students to take centers back to their seats or use them in designated areas around the room
-Choose useful learning center materials and organize them well
-Create an easy system for determining who goes to each center at each time
-Determine how to assess center work and figure out if students are using their time wisely
-Introduce center routines and procedures to the class so that centers run smoothly
Download the chapter for FREE in my TeachersPayTeachers store!
Check out Laura Candler’s Math Centers link up!
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