Games in the Secondary Math Classroom

50+ Games in the Secondary Math Classroom

Striking the perfect balance between routine and surprise is my favorite way to organize a math classroom. Students can expect that when they enter the classroom they will start their activator and take out their homework. They know that they will follow the routines we have previously established and will likely take some brief notes next. Then it's practice time. Structurally the class may look the same each day, but activity time can vary. This is an ideal opportunity to incorporate games that will reinforce the math skills students are learning. In this post, first, I will share 4 benefits of using games in the secondary math classroom to ensure we are on the same page! Then, I'll share 50+ ideas for games that you can use your classroom.

Skyrocket Engagement

Who doesn't love a good game? When students see a game on the agenda, engagement and attention skyrocket. In order for students to learn, they need to engage with the content and think about what they are doing. Therefore, attention and effort are important to the learning process. Games keep students' brains engaged in learning and lead to increased retention.

Develop Math Confidence

Students who might not otherwise be willing to put themselves out there may be willing to participate and take risks given a game format. Collaborating with peers, winning a game, and feeling good about math class all lead to increased math confidence. Students who may struggle with traditional notes and practice may thrive in a competitive game environment!

Foster Cooperative Learning

When students are playing math games together, they will communicate about mathematics, teach one another, and critique others' work. These are all pillars of higher order thinking. Cooperative learning is important to a thriving classroom climate, and games make the learning environment extra fun!

Make Learning Math Fun

And, of course, games make learning math more fun! As if increased engagement, developed math confidence, and meaningful cooperative learning aren't enough reasons to use games in math class, can we top if off with a reason that stands on it's own...? They're fun!

50+ Secondary Math Games

Alright, so you're all in on incorporating more learning games in your math class? I've compiled dozens of ideas here to get you started!

Old Math Guy

Old Math Guy is a card game played like Old Maid. Students play cards in groups of 4-5 as they find mathematical matches. But don't be stuck with the Old Math Guy at the end!

BINGO

Math BINGO is a great way to review before a test! Students play BINGO in small groups as they solve problems and try to get 5 boxes in row to earn a prize.

Set

Need a time-filler activity? Pull up the daily Set Game puzzle and facilitate logical thinking and problem solving. A set is group of 3 cards where all attributes are the same or completely different. 

Math War

Math War is a fun card game played in groups. Perfect for comparing expressions, rate and numbers. Students win the cards if their representations has the greatest rate of change.

Matching Games

Students play these memory games in pairs or small groups as they match mathematical pairs of cards. Reinforces skills in a fun competitive format.

Top 10 Best Math Review Games

Read about 10 mathtastic review games compiled on the Algebra and Beyond blog.

Voyage to the Treasure

Scaffolded Math and Science & Middle School Math Man teamed up to create this super fun and engaging series of board games for math students. Students work together to get to the treasure first. They are on the same team, playing against the math monster, which promotes collaboration and higher order thinking math discussions. Learn more about Voyage to the Treasure

15+ Math Games to Keep Students Engaged

Check out the Mrs. E Teaches Math blog for some of her favorite math games for secondary math!

Battle My Math Ship

Algebra and Beyond created a new spin on the classic game Battleship. Students play against one another in this worksheet version of the game trying to sink battleships. This is a super engaging, skills-based way to review math topics. Learn more about Battle My Math Ship.

Amazing Math Games Your Students Will Love

Head on over to the Scaffolded Math and Science blog for 15 more creative ways to incorporate math games in math class!

Trashketball

Mrs. E Teaches Math loves the review game Trashketball. Prep about 10 worksheets that practice the skills you'll be reviewing that class period. In this fast-paced game, students complete worksheets and when they get all the problem correct they get to crumple the paper and toss it in a trashcan to make shots. Super engaging and can be used for any topic. Learn more about Trashketball.

 
Trigonometry Go Fish

When teaching secondary math concepts, weatherly believes in going beyond the “how” and teaching students the “why.” Trig Functions GO FISH is a creative, engaging game that facilitates students’ understanding of trig functions. Learn more about GOfish.

Cornhole, Golf and More!

Visiting Math Giraffe’s store, you will find that her activities provide a mix of fun and rigor. Cornhole is an interactive review game, and golf is a hands-on game that provides an awesome, interactive way for students to practice math concepts. Learn more about Math Giraffe's favorite review games.

Puzzles

Math Dyal has some really fun, hands-on math puzzles that facilitate skills practice and spacial reasoning. The best part is that they are self-checking! Learn more about puzzles.

Square Dance Matching Game

Visit Kacie at The Efficient Classroom for more information about Square Dance Matching Games.

There you have it! 50+ math games to try out in your classroom. Which is your favorite?

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