Math Is Fun When It's An Interactive Game

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Article Summary: Math is fun when you turn the review time into an interactive game. Use these tips directly in your classroom to work wonders for participation and enthusiasm.
Math Is Fun When It's An Interactive Game
by Gregory L. Gomez

Reviewing math as an activity can sound extremely boring and uninspiring. In some folks minds it could rank up there with folding laundry and washing dishes - something that is usually not very enjoyable, but inherently needs to be done.
Nevertheless, since we know the importance of reviewing the various math standards and concepts that's been taught to our students throughout the year, why not try to make the review process as pleasant and enjoyable as possible?
In my opinion, when it comes to reviewing math material the students have already learned and are decently proficient with, turning the activity into a game activity will work wonders for participation and effort. Math is fun when it can be reviewed in a game-style format.
The best part is you can practically find or create a game for any math standard/concept that you want your students to review. If your students/class have access to computers, then the Internet is literally littered with free educational games that can be found from a quick search on Google.
Just be sure you preview and practice the game first so you can understand how it functions and anticipate any potential problems. Listing out the steps on paper or a chart may help too.

Remember, math is fun when you make it to be fun! Get creative for your students sake.

If your school does not have access to the Internet or computers in your classroom, then you can create traditional board games using dice/spinners at little or no out-of-pocket expense on your part.
However it's extremely important the games you have your students play MUST BE explicitly taught. Guide the students step by step through the entire process from start to end.
Address important points such as how and where do they get the materials. How do they set it up. The game's instructions on how to play. Who goes first. How they keep score. What to do if they get stuck or have a problem. What do they do if they finish early. How they are supposed to clean up. The noise level which they should maintain throughout the entire time.
All these questions to us adults might seem simple and self-explanatory, to the mind of a child if they are not given directions and examples on HOW to do something and in what manner to do it, then they will come up with their own way of solving it. And that way could easily be a loud and disruptive one.
Math Is Fun With These Games Ideas

Here's a list of possible math games you can use in your classroom that are practically free. All they will take is a bit of preparing on your part.
Note: The websites listed below are not mine or connected to me in any way. I found them by simply doing a google search and browsing a few of the interesting ones that popped up. I believe they will be good starting points for you to get some ideas of the possibilities out there for your class. And always keep in mind math is fun if you let it be.
* Custom Made Math Board Games: Tons of resources from Scholastic can give you lots of ideas of what is possible. You can also find ideas here and
* Online Games: A quick Google search for any math standard you want will turn up lots of relevant results. Some of the ones I've used with my class throughout the year are:
* Mix N Match: Make your own flash cards on colored index cards. One with the problem and another with an answer. Maybe 10 or 20 total. Then mix them up. Students have to solve each problem to match with the correct answer
* Who Am I Strips: This is a fun way for students to not only read, but match questions to answers about math. You can create fancy ones if you'd like but basically on a sentence strip you write a math question like: I am the sum of six hundred thirty two, and six thousand, seven hundred three. Who am I? All the answer choices can be on different colored sentence strips which the children have to match, or you can simply have them solve the problem.
*Crossword Puzzles: Math is fun when you can make your own crossword puzzles where the numerical answer or word answer goes in the puzzle, and the clues/questions are what the students have to solve. You can find various crossword puzzle makers online which can do a fairly neat job. Here is a link to a math specific crossword puzzle maker

Gregory L. Gomez, M. Ed, has been teaching 5th grade in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 16 years. He created to help teachers and parents provide children in grades 2-5 with a fun and inspirational way to review math standards and concepts. Get valuable teaching strategies along with 4 FREE math worksheets to download just for stopping by.
math review worksheets
We hope you found this article informative and that you'll be able to take some of the ideas and incorporate them into your classroom. We invite you to take a moment to download four FREE math review worksheets that students have found to be fun and exciting. These aren't the typical worksheets that you've seen before, so don't be surprised if you find your students begging for more 10 QUICKIES!
math review worksheets