Math games are an absolute must in my classroom! I use games as a fun way to review topics before an assessment. It’s a great way to break up the week or even end a week for a “light” Friday. However, if you only expose your students to one or two games, they will get bored with it fast week after week. Sooooo, I make sure I have a variety of games for every topic. Below are my top 10 favorite middle school and high school math games! Included are some links to blog posts describing the games, so check them out….
1 - BATTLE MY MATH SHIP
This is obviously my favorite! And if you're wondering why it’s my favorite, read my Battle My Math Ship blog post to learn all about this game! My students LOOOOOVE this game too! I think they like it so much because even if you aren’t the best math student, you have a great chance of winning because it involves luck and strategy.
2 - TASK CARD GAMES
Task cards can be used for a variety of games. Here are a few different ways I use them:
3 - MAZES
This is one of my go to games, as the students like having the correct answer as an option, so they can easily determine if they answered the question correctly. Idea Galaxy does a great job of explaining how to use this game in the classroom. You can read about it HERE.
4 - KAHOOT AND QUIZZIZ
Both of these platforms are awesome internet based games that can be played live or at the student’s own pace. The best part is there are so many games already created, so you can just pick and choose the ones that work for you. Here is a guide on how to use Quizziz in the classroom and here is Kahoot Blog where you can learn more about this interactive game.
5 - BINGO
We all know how to play BINGO and there are some fun ways to do it in math class, especially for whole group review. All Things Algebra and Free to Discover have some great activities for BINGO.
6 - WOULD YOU RATHER
7 - MYSTERY GAMES
The two that come to mind that students love are Math Libs by All Things Algebra, which you can read about HERE and Whodunnit by Clark Creative Education. Students always love a little mystery!
8 - OLD MATH GUY
Free to Discover created this fun game that is a spin on Old Maid. It’s a great game to print, laminate, and use year after year. You can read about 9 different ways to use this game in math class HERE.
9 - PUZZLES
I love to use puzzles to do group challenges! They are a fun way for students to make connections between the same concept, but in different ways. I really like how Scaffolded Math and Science creates her puzzles, which you can find HERE. And Lindsay Perro has some unique versions as well, which you can find HERE.
I’ve also used KenKen puzzles for after an assessment for some extra fun! You can read more about them HERE.
10 - TIC-TAC-TOE
There are a few different ways to play this game! You can find several versions on Teachers Pay Teachers HERE. Students enjoy this classic game with a twist!
MORE GAMES TO TRY...
Other games I haven’t tried yet, but look fun and interesting…
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Using data to find a quadratic graph of best fit is an awesome way to connect math with the real world. However, it’s not always easy to find authentic data to use for a quadratic regression equation. I REALLY wanted to use the flight of a soccer ball or golf ball and find a video on YouTube that had all the stats using a trace finder that states the distance and height. I searched and searched, but could not find a video that was clear and had the information needed to collect data for a scatter plot. So, I began looking at weather patterns, but that wasn’t quite right either. However, it helped me stumble across the timeanddate.com site. This is when I realized I can use the time of day and the altitude of the sun for a quadratic regression real world project! Of course, you can only use it for ONE day otherwise, it’s a periodic function. Here are the details of the project...
In this project, students are to find the curve of best fit for a quadratic function in the real world by performing the following:
The Google Slides template is provided, so students can type in their information in the specific location. They then can easily turn their project into you via Google Classroom or email.
The project directions and rubric are 100% editable! This is very easy to integrate into any Algebra course either in-person or online, gives students some freedom of what place to research, and is mathtastically fun! And since it’s editable, you can even change it to record data over several days and find the sinusoidal regression equation for a higher-level math course.
Click on the cover below to go directly to this project:
Other projects you may like:
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Absolute value inequalities was not a topic my Algebra 2 students remembered from Algebra 1 AT ALL! I know that they hadn’t seen it in two years, but still, I felt like it was a completely brand new topic for them. This got me thinking that I need to have an absolute value inequalities project in Algebra 1 to help solidify this concept long term. So, I did some research on the Internet to find some ideas on a fun way to tackle this concept. I created the following project and my students had a lot of fun with it because it combines technology, shopping (who doesn’t love to shop?!), and of course math. Below is an overview of this project…
SHOPPING ON A BUDGET
Every project needs to have a focus and goal. In this project, students are to…
As with any project, I do use a rubric, which is 100% editable for teachers. I also include a Google Sheet where you can type in each student’s product price and it will calculate the mean and deviation range, so you can easily check each project. I dread grading projects, as they can take a long time, but this rubric and spreadsheet make it so simple and fast!
This project is very easy to integrate into any Algebra course, gives students some freedom of what product to research, and is mathtastically fun! Here is a video that shows the example project I show my students before they begin:
Click on the cover below to go directly to this project:
More mathtastic real world projects for you and your students:
I have always wanted to have a “My Favorite Things” list like Oprah does each year. I remember watching the Oprah Show back in 2004 when she gave out cars to everyone. It was AMAZING to watch! The crazy thing was, I didn’t want to be a person in the audience that received a car (okay, maybe a little bit), but I really wanted to be Oprah….the one that got to surprise everyone and absolutely make their day!
Giving is one of the kindest things we can do for one another. This is probably why most of us became teachers. We have a desire to help others!
I have created a list of “My Favorite Things” for teachers. I’d loooooove to be able to give out each item to 275 people, but of course, I’m not Oprah.
I hope you discover some things that maybe you haven’t used before, or maybe a parent has been asking how they can help supply resources for your room and you can direct them here.
I have listed some resources that a teacher could have used 10 years ago (if they existed) and hopefully 10+ years from now. These are, in my mind, the most valuable resources in my classroom.
*Some products have Amazon affiliate links.
A necessity for every teacher! The two that I use the most are EXPO Dry Erase Markers and Papermate Flair Pens. Teacher’s need color and these two products do not disappoint!
What does this look like?....I post a few problems on the overhead screen and have students hold up their answers whenever they are ready. I respond with a yes or no, so they know if they can go to the next problem. Once the complete the practice problems, they then can begin their other math work.
These static cling dry-erase sheets have been a fun addition to my class! They are great for when students are practicing math problems in pairs or groups. Each group hangs their sheet anywhere in the room. I can easily see them working together and when they call me over for help, it’s easy to see the steps they’ve already completed. Then, when we are done, we roll them up and put them away for next time.
These are not just for primary students!!! I am in love with these dry-erase pocket sleeves because it allows me to save handouts from year to year…without laminating! Plus, this set includes 30 dry-erase markers. I use these sleeves all the time for my Battle My Math Ship games.
Of course, I use all of my graphing calculator reference sheets to teach students how to use the TI-84 calculator, but it is also helpful to do the sheets with them. This tool is a great way for students to visually follow along with you.
I know some schools provide class sets of Texas Instrument calculators, but mine does not. So, I always like to have about five extra TI-84 calculators on hand for when a student forgets their calculator or their batteries run out…or heaven forbid they lost it! Eeek!
I use my Wacom Tablet almost every day! It is an amazing way to digitally write notes with students. I know there are other types of tablets that come with Smartboards, but I have been using my Wacom for years and I love it…so easy and durable. I even have the wireless kit so I can walk around the room or have my students use it from their desk. Below is a glimpse of how I use it in my class....
WHITE CARD STOCK SHEETS
Students love to be identified with a talent! I like to give out math awards and these sheets are perfect for awards.
These are for the “I don’t have good handwriting, or a Cricut, or the time ~ teacher”. I like these because they are easy to re-use and move around the room throughout the school year.
Let’s face it, we know that we are better teachers if we are HAPPY! So, I have also listed the things that have been huge aspects for me to keep up with my self-care.
I’m not big on headphones while working out. Therefore, I purchased a bike mount for my iPhone. I don’t even need the volume up that high to hear it and I can ride and see the screen at the same time. It’s also nice and handy for taking pictures of cool things I see on my route.
AIR FRYER & INSTANT POT
Okay, I have to admit…I am completely obsessed with both of these small kitchen appliances. In fact, I am now the proud owner of one Instant Pot and two air fryers. These appliances have made making dinner soooo much faster AND easier, but still keeping it healthy! Here are some of my favorite foods to cook in each…
Instant Pot: chili, chicken noodle soup, shredded pork, ribs, shredded chicken (usually for enchiladas), and hardboiled eggs. This is basically a super fast crockpot!
Air Fryer: ANY vegetable is amazing when cooked in the air fryer, as well as chicken wings, bacon, pork chops, cheeseburgers, homemade french fries or hash browns, salmon (simply the best), fish, and chicken breasts. Any food you want to be crispy on the outside, but still juicy/tender in the middle…this is your go to appliance.
After a looooong week of teaching, sometimes we just want to curl up and watch a good movie or binge on a tv series. And that’s okay!!! Netflix is an easy way to do this via computer, tv, or even your iPad. Some people watch on their phone, but my eyes are too old for that!
I used to be an avid reader and then kids and life took over for a few years. However, I have made a commitment to read at least one book every month…or at least try. I definitely do it in spurts. I’m the type that will read a book in 2-3 days because once I start, I can’t put the book down. I find that reading really helps me “escape” my worries and stress in a good way. So if you are like me and reading has been on the back burner, get back into it! You can find some good ones on the New York Time’s Bestseller List or free ones on Wattpad.
I hope you found some useful things in this post! Feel free to email me with things you use in your classroom that are must-haves!!!