Math…my absolute favorite subject to teach. Why? Math is fun. It should be fun and engaging for your students too. I have put together some games, tips, and freebies for you to enjoy in your classroom. Now grab your notebook and pen so you can take some notes!
I am not a huge homework fan but something thing I do like to give my students for homework are math card games! Did you know the dollar store has very affordable decks of cards that you can get for your families? Better yet, you can get free decks of cards from local casinos or Donor’s Choose. Here’s what I like to do. Each student will get a deck of cards from me. We store these cards in the child’s BEE binder which goes to and from school every day. Inside of the BEE binder I provide my parents with a game sheet that explains how to play a game that we have been playing in class. There’s always a math skill involved with each game suggestion. Right now we are learning a game called Addition Top It. Here’s how it works:
1. Each player gets a partner and splits the deck into two equal decks. Make sure there are no face cards. We will keep the aces and say they are worth one but these can be eliminated too.
2. Each player takes the top two cards off the deck and lays them down face up.
3. Each player adds their cards together and tells each other the sum.
4. The player with the highest sum gets to keep all the cards for that turn.
5. The player with the most cards at the end of the game wins.
I love this game because there’s no prep involved, keeps the kids actively engaged, it’s great for mastering the automaticity of math fact recall, and can be easily differentiated to meet the needs of all your mathematicians! Your higher students can be adding three numbers together OR they can be adding two or three-digit numbers. The possibilities are endless!
Posting learning targets, objectives, or standards are essential for our students! Mine are posted at the front of my classroom. At the beginning of every math lesson, I write the learning target with the students and we talk about what they will be learning that day for math. For example: “We can add sums of ten.” “We can compose fact family sentences given three numbers.” We can use our doubles facts to subtract.” After teaching, guided practice, and independent work, we will go back to the learning target to reflect how we feel about our level of understanding of the learning target we wrote together at the beginning of the lesson. We use thumbs up if they feel confident that they know, understand, and can teach the skill to a friend. Thumbs sideways means they feel somewhat comfortable with their knowledge and understanding of the skill. Thumbs down means they feel uncomfortable with the skill and would like additional help tomorrow. This is a great way for me to guide where I need to go with my math lesson plans the following day.
Organization is key for me when it comes to math. There are two areas in my classroom where all of my math resources are stored. I keep all my math manipulatives in my rainbow drawers. I have yet to change the drawer labels but this will be done very soon! I like using my rainbow drawers for math manipulatives because they are accessible to my students at all times. I encourage my students to use manipulatives whenever they feel it will help them with their math. Of course, we talk about how manipulatives are math TOOLS and not TOYS. The other thing I love about my rainbow drawers is that the drawers can be easily pulled out and brought to another place in the classroom. This is very handy for us!
The rest of my math resources are stored in plastic containers. In my school district we use the Envision math series so our math is taught by skill units. In each container I keep the teacher’s guide, printables, task cards, interactive notebook pages, anchor charts, and math station games. I love this system because everything that I need to teach that unit is right at my finger tips and I don’t have to do any digging into files or cabinets! Gone are the days that I spend tons of time searching for the resources that I need to teach a certain math unit!
Last but certainly not least, I have included some of my favorite math FREEBIES for you to enjoy in your classroom! The first math freebie that my students love is my Missing Addend QR Code Task Cards. They include both vertical and horizontal missing addend addition problems. Each card also includes a QR code that, once scanned, will display the answer to the given problem. I have found QR codes to be very motivating for my students. I also like that they provide instant feedback. The recording sheet provides a place for the student to circle yes or not to whether or not they got their answer correct the first time they answered it. This component provides me with important feedback too!
Spin and Stack is a game that I like to use when I am teaching my students about fractions. More specifically, it’s great for estimating fractions to the nearest one, zero, and half.
Those who know me know that I ADORE all things interactive math notebooks! You can watch my interview with Sheila Jane Teaching here:
Another math freebie in my store is a sample from my Place Value Interactive Notebook. This particular activity works on three digit numbers. The students will build the number with base ten blocks, spell it using word form, and expand it with expanded form. I love this activity and the kids do too!
I also have a couple of Pinterest boards that are dedicated to all things math! I am constantly pinning new strategies, games, lessons, stations, and anchor chart designs. Feel free to follow along by clicking on the images below.
Thanks for stopping by my blog! I hope you enjoyed my math game, tips, and freebies!