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Showing posts with label research based. Show all posts
Showing posts with label research based. Show all posts

Playing Math Games to Strengthen Important Skills


I find games to be a great way to learn and develop skills.

Brain research tells us that adding the element of fun helps to connect the memory. Isn't that a great reason to play learning games?

Playing Math Games to Strengthen Important Skills: This post tells why it's important to play math games, and has some suggestions on how to teach them and what to play!
I like to teach a game during small group instruction time, so I can watch the children play and make sure they are focused on the learning goal. I'll have them play a couple of times with guidance before I let them  play on their own.

After a game has been introduced and practiced, it will be available as a choice during math stations or centers.  There are times when certain children are assigned a particular game as well.

It's a good idea to allow the children to play games below their level, as these are important skills that should be mastered in order to perform the higher skills with ease. Just because the skills are easy for the child doesn't mean they don't have value! In fact, if the game isn't somewhat easy, it won't be fun for the children. Also, if the game isn't somewhat easy, the children will be more likely to make mistakes, which won't help them master the skills. I've learned "practice makes permanent," and we don't want to make incorrect skills permanent, do we? If you've ever had to unlearn a bad habit, you'll know just what I mean!


I have a series of BINGO games that I designed to go along with second grade skills. They all have a sports theme, which is a big draw for the kids. I find once they learn the format of a particular game, it takes less time to teach a similar game, meaning more time practicing each skill!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Adding-3-Addends-Golf-Themed-BINGO-Game-Freebie-277171?utm_source=60b&utm_campaign=Par%203%20freebie

You can find this freebie here: Par 3 Adding 3 Addends Freebie

You can find the full set with 9 game boards here: Par 3 Adding 3 Addends


As mentioned above, once the students know the format and how the game works, they can play similar games to strengthen similar skills. It just so happens that I have several math games that follow this same format with different sports themes that can be found here:
Sports Themed Bingo Math Games

Still looking for more math games to strengthen their skills?

Here are plenty more Math games, including several freebies! Math Games Category
 
Games are a great way to build skills AND have fun!  Enjoy!
Playing Math Games to Strengthen Important Skills: This post tells why it's important to play math games, and has some suggestions on how to teach them and what to play!

Three Quick Math Brain Activities

There are lots of quick things teachers can do to activate the brain while teaching math.  Remember, the brain needs movement and active engagement in order to activate those dendrites.  
Three Quick Math Brain Activities: Here are three quick ideas for getting children to think about math, while keeping the brain engaged.


Keeping things fun along with social interactions are putting the brain in the best place for learning to happen.  Here are some tricks I use.
  1. Skip Count beanie toss:  Skip counting is big in second grade.  Beanie babies are huge in my class.  Pairs of children pick up a beanie and start counting.  The children say a new count every time they catch the beanie.  They keep going as high as they can until time is up.  This could be done with Math facts, too!
  2. Musical Math Facts:  Work in groups of 4 or 5.  Put one less fact card on the desk or table.  As the music starts, they walk around the table.  (Dancing is optional!)  Works just like musical chairs, but when the music stops, each child picks up a math fact.  The last person to say the correct answer to his/ her fact becomes the "cheerleader".  (I use cheerleader rather than loser, as I insist they say positive things to their classmates, even if they're out.  I always remind the boys that, in my class, "cheerleader" doesn't mean wearing a short skirt and shaking pom poms, it means supporting their team mates.)  I like to have several groups going at once, since more kids are practicing more frequently, and it goes more quickly.  The teacher can keep an eye on those kids that need more guidance. 
  3. Calendar March:  My students need to practice the days of the week and the months of the year until they know them by heart.  From their desk position, they all chant the months of the year and march in any direction.  (Of course, I remind them to keep their distance from furniture and people.)  Then I challenge them to find their way back to their seat by marching to the Days of the Week. 



Of course, feel free to adapt any of these ideas to your own grade level.  I use most of these as a warm up at the beginning of math, or as a break to keep the brain focused.



Of course, these three activities can be adapted for anything that needs to be reinforced.  Rather than skip counting, math facts, or days of the week, try the same activities for some other subjects.  Here are some ideas
  • Spelling:  practicing their spelling words, or "igh" family words
  • Reading:  Name all the characters in today's story, or tell the main events in sequential order
  • Social Studies"  Name the 7 continents, or name as many states as you can
The possibilities are endless.  And this is only the beginning of Brain Based Learning in the classroom!

Three Quick Math Brain Activities: Here are three quick ideas for getting children to think about math, while keeping the brain engaged.

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