Monday, July 8, 2013

Ms. Wilson, Don't You Have a Game We Can Play?

Good news! I heard today that my ceiling in my classroom is fixed! Which means I can get in there soon. Just knowing that it is fixed eases my anxiety.

Tonight I decided to work on my bucket list and also do work for my classroom. While watching Law & Order: SVU I am making my own flash cards.

Late in the year I came up with a brilliant idea with the help of the students I tutored after school. I have always struggled with how to get students to be more fluent with their math facts. It comes down to the fact that they just need to memorize them.

During tutoring I had each student pick a multiplication fact that they wanted to work on and we made flash cards. We practiced those for awhile and then I had a light bulb moment! I made fact families with each of the facts. It amazed me that students would know what 4 x 6 was but you ask them 6 x 4 and the acted like you just asked them the meaning of string theory.

Eureka! So for the rest of the year, every day we practiced the same 5 fact families.  I am convinced that it may just work!

Beginning this year I am going to hit the road running. I am going to work on five math facts at a time, equaling 20 math facts a day until they get them down and then we will move on to the next set.

Now I am trying to think of fun ways to practice these. My last class LOVED around the world, but there were a few students who weren't always successful. It did at times motivate a few of the students because they were tired of loosing. I want to turn it into a sort of game with a fun name. So far  I have come up with:

Math Warriors or Math Gladiators with a possible "fact" thrown in there. I was thinking of some fun "pump-you-up" kind of music to play at the beginning and get them all pumped up. It's still in the works though.

Any ideas? Either for a song to play, name for the game or game?


  1. I remember in 5th or 6th grade we broke into teams and made up a math or science rap. I can still remember a little bit of it today!

  2. Have you tried having kids breaking up into teams of two, each with a deck of cards (or part of a deck) and each throwing out a card (like "War"), but multiplying the numbers instead? Something similar can also be done with two dice (even dice with more than six sides). I've used this process for addition and subtraction with my kiddo while homeschooling. Somehow games always make practice more fun!

    1. We have done a few games like this. I found a book that has a ton of games with cards for math. It has been fun to watch the kids play! Thanks for the input. I might have to try it as a two team type of game too. Get some health competition going! ;0)