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5 Cool Maths Games and Strategies to Increase Engagement.

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Maths can be a tricky subject, right?

Americans as a whole are struggling. The average 8th-grade standardised maths test score has been at an under proficient level for decades. 35 countries outranked the US on math tests performed last year

But all hope is not lost, your student’s maths skills can improve using alternative methods.

You can make strengthening them enjoyable for your child. Engaging games lead to unintentional learning.

Cool Maths Games and Strategies to Increase Engagement.

When students learn by participating in something interactive, they are more likely to retain knowledge.

They are also more likely to participate in practising maths if they enjoy the method, this is what professional home tutors do to help kids learn.

So how do you get started with a play-based math routine?

Fortunately, there are games for every age and skill level. Here’s a round-up of a variety of awesome options. 

How can I make maths more engaging for my students?

1. Make it fun.
2. Use roleplay.
3. Use board games.
4. Use technology.
5. Use mistakes to show misconceptions.
6. Let students teach other students.
7. Regular reviews of tricky calculations.
8. Relate maths to real-life situations.
9. Incorporate songs and rhymes.
10. Bring maths into other subjects e.g. Science.

1. Maths Games for the Smallest Learners.

Learning math skills can begin early with shape sorting toys.

Little ones can learn by manipulating the blocks and matching the shapes to the holes. You can repeat the names of shapes so they can learn them. This activity encourages a base for logic and problem-solving. 

There are a ton of great maths games out there for preschoolers. Small children learn best by doing. Games teach them good lessons like turn-taking and cooperation, as well as early math skills. 

Hi Ho! Cherry-O is a great game for children just beginning to count. Moving the fruit in and out of the buckets while counting reinforces that skill.

Observing that they are gaining and losing fruit lays the foundation for beginning addition and subtraction. 

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Magnatiles is another awesome product for small hands and expanding shape knowledge.

This award-winning toy is a great introduction to geometry. The blocks come in varying quadrilateral and triangle shapes to broaden knowledge beyond basic shapes. They can also be used to introduce the concept of 3-D shapes.  

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2. Family Games to Build Skills.

Family style board games can be a learning opportunity too. There are a lot of options that are suitable for all ages and skill levels. Many of these games come in children’s versions so every member of the family (or class), young and old, can play. 

The old classic, Monopoly, have a junior edition, which is a great way to involve all of the class.

The lower ability players can roll the dice and count the spaces to move the pieces forward. Letting the more able students play banker gives them money counting practice and the opportunity to calculate rent and mortgages. 

Qwixx is a fun, travel-friendly dice game. Similar to Yahtzee, players use addition and logic skills to make decisions and fill their cards. With games only taking about fifteen minutes, it’s a great way to squeeze in some fun maths practice at the end of a lesson.

Video games can even be a fun way to practice maths. A recent study showed that kids that played online games had maths scores 15 points above the average.

Look for games that the students can play together and encourage problem-solving and critical thinking skills. 

3. Digital Apps for Older Students.

As children get older, they become more interested in electronic maths games.

More and more schools are using these apps for education purposes. And they can be a valuable tool to help your students practice maths independently.

Prodigy is one of the most popular maths games among older children. It is curriculum-based and can be customised to reinforce in-class material.

Kids love the play-based format where they explore the online world and fight characters in maths challenges. They can work together and interact with other players in the game.

ST Math is another excellent program for this age. It’s completely visual, so it eliminates the need for strong literacy skills to practice maths.

Students are encouraged by moving the adorable penguin JiJi across the screen as they complete problems and answer questions correctly.

If answered incorrectly, a demonstration reinforces the strategy for solving the problem.

Another app, Zearn, is a great program that aligns with curriculums. It includes video tutorials and a help function so kids can learn as they go and work at their own pace.

The app has data-oriented reports so parents and teachers can help support learning in specific areas.

4. Engaging Your High School Students.

As kids reach high school, it becomes more challenging to keep them engaged.

It can also be difficult to reinforce the high-level maths skills they are learning. Luckily, there are games targeted to older students.

Mangahigh is a great option for elementary through to high school. It teaches everything from basic numbers to coding skills.

The interactive app has an option for whole class play and tracks student data to find strengths and areas that need improvement. 

Math for Love Prime Club is a fun board game that appeals to high schoolers. It’s a great way to practice all of the math operations and logic as players move about the board.

Kids get caught up in the competition while the game encourages deeper mathematical understanding.

5. Modeling Learning as a Teacher.

It’s important for your students to see you learn. Similar to reading, if they see you model the behaviour, they are more likely to participate. Show them that you care about keeping your maths skills sharp.

Sudoku is a great mental workout for all ages. It’s a good way to practice concentration and critical thinking skills. And as you improve, you can constantly work up to a new level of difficulty to expand your learning. 

There are also fun electronic games for adults. Luminosity is an enjoyable app that features learning games in all areas. Their maths challenges can exercise your mind and strengthen your maths skills. 

6. Conclusion.

Whether you opt for board games or digital versions, play-based activities will make a big difference for you and your students.

Even practising for a few minutes a day can make a huge difference. Studies show that students that play maths games daily increase their maths test scores.

There are countless products available for making maths fun. You just have to find what works best for your students.

Utilising these great tools will set your students on the pathway to learning and loving maths!

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Paul Stevens-Fulbrookhttps://teacherofsci.com
Paul Stevens-Fulbrook (TeacherOfSci) is a Science teacher, writer and education blogger based in Brighton, England. He started teacherofsci.com to help support teachers everywhere with the everyday struggles that they are all faced with, both in the classroom and at home.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for sharing Great information. I am also a Maths teacher by profession in Jayesh International School, Jaipur, India
    Thanks again for sharing tips.

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