How can math games be a cornerstone of building a math culture? It’s obvious that when students are having fun, they are more engaged in learning. Math is traditionally perceived as a less than exciting part of the school day requiring lots of rote practice. But it doesn’t have to be that way! When engaged in math games and activities, students don’t even realize that they are strengthening math skills and problem solving. Whether playing in school or at home, games can enhance math fundamentals and more importantly, help students develop positive math attitudes.
EIM has assembled a list of several commercial games to try either at home or in the classroom. They are incorporated into our after school clubs and summer camps as well.
Store bought games aren’t the only way to enjoy math fun with children. There are plenty of activities that can be done with a simple deck of cards or a pair of dice. We even outline several that only require fingers or your brain! Check back frequently for new ideas about simple math games to use with kids of all ages.
Fun Math Websites
Modeling a positive math attitude and interacting with students while playing math games is one of the best ways to help a child succeed in math. But there are also ways for students to have math fun on their own. Look into these recommended math websites that can also strengthen skills and self esteem at the same time.
Sink your claws into this site full of math games, explorations, quizzes, interactive projects, facts, and other fun (and educational) stuff. Pardon us, but this is really…the cat’s meow!
(National Library of Virtual Manipulatives [Pre-K to 12th grade] from Utah State University) This is a remarkable site and it offers just what it’s name implies: virtual manipulatives that work! The site is very easy to navigate, with a mathematics strand and grade grid.
This site offers “math baseball.” Players can choose one or two players, the level of math (easy, medium, hard or superbrain), and whether they want to do addition, subtraction, multiplication, division or all. Each player answers a math question and, if it is correct, the player gets a hit and the computer decides whether the hit is a single, double, triple or home run. A missed question is an out.
This site offers math facts in some very unconventional kinds of ways, such as sharing the history of famous mathematicians. There are encyclopedic explanations of math terms, games, flashcards, and quizzes. It covers decimal points, fractions, money, percentages, measurements, factors, and much more. The site offers links to History, Science, Geography, Language Arts, and Social Studies.
Math playground is a site for elementary and middle school students to practice math skills. It has word problems, math and logic games, math worksheets and math facts. The site is colorful, is fairly easy to use and should be engaging for kids. The math games on the site are animated. A few ads, all for education-related products.
In this cute, kid-friendly Spanish website you will find a bunch of animal poems that are at the same time mathematical problems. In the instructions you will find a way to solve the problems in a cooperative way, with a group of kids. Aimed at 3rd-5th grade.
Site focuses on math games and puzzles, rather than math skills but games are math-centered, strategy games and involve memorization, algorithms, strategy and predictions.
This web site was developed to help students improve their math skills interactively. The site offers homework help, flashcard games, math word puzzles, and worksheets that can be used in a classroom setting. There are some ads but generally not obtrusive.
Visual representations of progressively larger numbers, using a penny as a unit. It starts with one penny and goes up to one quintillion pennies, with curious questions along the way (How many pennies would it take to fill the Empire State Building?) If you click on ’10 million pennies’, the screen will show a cube of pennies that is six feet high, wide and long, next to an adult man for scale. Kids will be fascinated by this site.
Offers interactive games on topics ranging from geometric tangrams, counting, sudoku, money and time. Also a link for teachers.