I love making my own games for math class, and I enjoy using simple ones that use a deck of cards or counters or easy slips of paper. If you want to learn more about math games you can make, I’ll be sharing more in an upcoming blog post.
Here I’ll share some games that I have purchased and enjoyed. Many of these I received through my PTA which was great! These are listed in order of the current popularity of these games in my classroom combined with the quality of math concept I find in them.
The goal of this game is to use the pieces to add up to exactly 1. If you go over, you lose. You just draw different fractions, so you have to decide each round if you will draw a card to tell you which fraction to take or if you will pass. The closer you are to 1 without going over, the more points you get.
This game is changeable each time. You take all the square shaped numbers and arrange them to make the board. Then, you pick a number from a different pile. Everyone is trying to use the numbers on the game board to make a number sentence to equal the drawn number. The trick is you have to find 3 in a row where you multiply the first two numbers then add or subtract the third. I love how flexible this game is with number of players.
Each player has two pawns. The goal is to get both pawns to 101 which is at the center. You roll two dice each round and you decide to add, subtract, multiply, or divide with those numbers. You can use them both on one pawn or split between your pawns. The board is color coded to show factors of numbers.
The goal of this game is to match cards that have a similar attribute. Cards vary in color, shape, and shading. This is great for making connections and noticing details.
Students use the tiles of numbers (just like scrabble letters but numbers and operation signs) to make equations (the board looks like scrabble, too). They can use other equations to add on their own equations. The important thing to keep in mind is that both sides of any equal sign on the board must be equal.
These are easier tiles for students to use in the game.
This works on addition and subtraction double digit facts.
In this game, you lay out 9 cards to create the board. In this way, it is similar to Tribulation (which I mentioned before) except the answer is not a separate piece; the answer can also be any of the cards on the board. The goal is that you’re looking at the cards laid out and trying to make a math sentence with them that uses at least 3 cards. In that way, it’s kind of like Equate except everyone is looking at the same set of numbers. This has cards 0-100 and allows you to use square roots to find answers. The concept is simple so you could remove some of the higher numbers, but it’s more difficult than you might think. I have found this the hardest for me, personally.
This game requires fact fluency. You can play using only addition or subtraction or the harder level is to use all four functions.
This card game is similar to games where you want your total point value to be lower. This allows you to focus on double digit addition and subtraction and requires some strategy to win.
This card game asks you to manipulate numbers. There are number cards and cards that require you to do operations.
Zangle is a geometric shape game which requires you to abstractly connect shapes and see how they might go together.
This is a pretty fun, relatively easy game. This is great for students who have a wide range of abilities to play together. The goal is to make a qwirkle – where you have all of one color or all of one shape in a row. You can only place pieces where there won’t be a repeat in the row or column.
Students have little cubes with different patterns on each side. They draw a card and have to recreate the picture on the card using their cubes. It’s a visual perception game that’s not too difficult but is a relaxing challenge.
This game asks you to match up colors on the sides of pieces as opposed to numbers (they describe themselves as a spin on dominoes). It’s more challenging than it sounds and pretty fun.