KinderGals: Math Games for the WHOLE Year!

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Math Games for the WHOLE Year!

Are you trying to figure out how to run math centers, pull small group, and keep everyone busy and happy all at the same time?  If you are, you aren't alone.  We are all seeking new ways and ideas to manage it all! One thing I do that I think helps is the way I develop the math games I use during centers. This post shares my thoughts and ideas about math games.
Here's the biggest problem, kids don't know how to play the games in the centers! That means they are interrupting your small group for guidance, or they are finding "creative" ways to entertain themselves---neither of which I want! So here's my plan...develop some math games that can easily be used ALL year simply by changing the dice, cards, and clip art! Then, once I have taught the game, the children can play it in centers and think they are playing a new game.
For example, this Racing Math Game is perfect! Here's how they play:
  • Create a game board with 3 columns.
  • Make 3 game pieces. I made mine stand up by creating a stand with a paper clip.
  • Invite the children to roll a dice.
  • They move the pieces towards the finish line.
  • The object is to get all three pieces to the end.
  • The children may move one piece all of the moves, or they may split the move between the pieces.
  • As the year progresses, invite the children to record the number sentences to represent their moves.
Once I teach the game during the first few weeks, the children can now play this game over and over using new game boards. All the time is spent practicing the standard, not learning the rules to yet another game!
Who has more is a perfect game to use with any deck of cards. I created this deck for my back to school unit.  Here's how you play:
  • Create a game board with a more and less spinner and a more and less section.
  • Put the cards in a pile, face down.
  • Invite two children to draw a card.
  • The children compare for more and less and place their card on the game board in either the more or less section.
  • The child with less, spins the spinner.
  • If it lands on less, they get both of the cards.
  • If it lands on more, their partner gets both of the cards.
  • This teaches kids that more isn't always the winner!
As the year progresses, the rules for playing the game stays the same.  However, you could have kids turn over two cards, add them together, and compare the sum. You could also have the kids write the numerals to represent the sets. The game stays the same, only the standard is changing!
Children love this measurement game! Here's how they play:
Each child needs a partner.
One child uses the clip art pictures to measure how tall their partner is.
Then, they swap.
On the recording page, they draw a picture of themselves and their partner to show how many buses it took to measure each of them. Then, they fill in the sentences to answer the questions.
As the year progresses, the rules---once again--stay the same. I only change the sizes of the clip art nonstandard measurement!
This game is so simple, the kids catch on really quickly. Here's how you play:
  • Create a game board by making one long strip of clip art.
  • Make a game piece. I made mine stand up with a paper clip.
  • One child sits at each end of the long strip.
  • The first child rolls the dice.
  • He move the game piece that many spaces towards himself.
  • The second child rolls the dice.
  • He moves the SAME game piece that many spaces towards himself.
  • It is the same game piece that is moving back and forth on the game board.
Throughout the year, not only do I change the clip art, I change the dice (or what they do with the dice.) I could give them a numeral dice, and they recognize the numeral and move that many spaces. I could give them a dot dice, they either subitize or count the dots and move that many spaces. I could give them two dice, they roll the dice, add them together and move that many spaces.  Just by changing the dice you are changing the standard, BUT no more time is wasted teaching yet another game!
This game is a crowd pleaser! Here's how you play:
  • Create a number line. Mine is 1-20, but you can make it 1-10 or 1-30! (Or really whatever you want!)
  • Collect little trinkets to place on each of the numerals. I use clip art pictures.
  • Make a game piece. I made mine stand up with a paper clip.
  • Invite the children to roll the dice.
  • They move that many spaces down the number line and remove the trinket on the number where they land.
  • Next, they roll again.  Starting from where they are, they can either move forward (add) or backwards (subtract) on the number line.
  • The object of  the game is to remove all of the trinkets from the number line.
Here's the cool thing---as they play this game throughout the year, they become much more strategic with their moves! A great hands on experience with probability and statistics! Scroll to the bottom to snag up a Back to School Number Line Mystery Game for Free.
Here is a bundle of all of the Math Game Packs.  Not every game is in every pack, but the games are repeated throughout the year. For two days, and two days only, this bundle is GREATLY reduced! It is normally $75, but  is on sale for $35 for 2 days. This is a better bargain than you will get  with a tpt site wide sale! 

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