It’s no secret that I love math stations during my math workshop. They are a great way to engage students by using fun math games, interactive notebooks, small group instruction; you name it! It is also similar to the reading workshop that students are used to in the primary grades, so they are familiar with the stations model’s expectations and routine.
In this post, I will share five math station games that are fun and engaging that you can place in your game center that is quick and easy. The best part is that you can use them with every math unit, so you just have to teach the game once, and then you are done! You may have to review the rules when you bring the fun back again, but you won’t ever have to reteach it! That right there is worth its weight in gold!
Now, before I get into the nitty-gritty of math games, if you are looking for games to try, I have just the thing for you! Make centers fun with these EDITABLE games created for each month. You can put any skill you are working on in the boxes! Just a teacher helping out another teacher! Click here to get started and make your math centers more engaging and fun!
What are Math Stations?
Math Stations are a lot like Reading Stations. They give students a chance to practice and apply skills and strategies taught during the whole group lessons. While students are engaged in purposeful stations, teachers can work individually or with small, flexible groups to meet the individual needs of students. If you want to read about what rotations I have in my stations, click here to read that post.
Math Games That are Fun
One of the stations in my rotations is Math Game Stations (or Math Center). This is one math center that my students love! This station is interactive, and it works on students’ social-emotional skills as well! With these games, I teach them either on a Monday to the whole class or as one of the Guided Math lessons. I go over how to play the game with them, and we have a guided practice. Once they have learned how to play the game, it goes into the Math Game Center to play. The great thing about these games is that I put them in the “Math Centers Review” bin once we are done with the game after the week. This is where I store all of the games I have taught them throughout the year. When they have finished with a Math center, they can simply go to the review bin and play a game in the container! My students love playing games from other units we have had, which keeps those skills up!
Three in a Row Math Game
This game may take some time to set up initially, but once it’s set up, it runs smoothly. I usually create a template with nine boxes on the card. Usually, I make six cards (one for each student in my group) and put the answers in each box. For example, I put the sums in each of the nine boxes if I am working on addition skills. Then I have anywhere from 12-15 cards where I write the cards’ problems. For example, if I am working on addition skills, I would put 3+3=, or 6+4= on a card.
I have each student take turns pulling a card from the pile and reading it. Then the students answer the question and find the answer on their card. They can use anything you have in your room as a marker, such as coins, cubes, whatever you can think of. My favorite to use is the mini erasers you can get from Five Below or Target. Super cheap, and if you lose a few, it’s not a big deal!
If you are looking for Three in a Row games already done, you can check them out here!
Write the Room or Scoot Math Game
Write the Room is also referred to as Scoot. I love playing scoot with my kids! I usually start this activity as a whole group. Once they get the hang of it, Write the Room goes into a station. It’s straightforward to make and gets your kids up and walking around the room. Let’s face it; these kids need to move as much as possible! 🙂
When I start off teaching them how to do scoot, I have cards with one question about our unit. For example, if I am teaching geometry, one card may have shapes on it, and they have to figure out how many vertices there are. Another card may be asking what real-world shape the picture is. Make sure to have a recording sheet to write down their answers.
Put up anywhere from 10-20 cards around the room. Keep three or so cards for me. Start with kids sitting on the carpet with the recording sheet in their hands. I show them one of the cards I kept for myself; I show them how to match the box on their recording sheet with the card in my hand. We go over how to answer the question and write the answer on the recording sheet.
I do this a few more times to ensure the students have the concept. Then, I show them how to walk around the room, focus on their paper, and not look at our friend’s paper. We practiced this whole activity as an entire group for the first few times. Once I know they have the hang of it and can do it without my help; I make it into a math station. My students love it, and it gets them up and moving!
If you are looking for Write the Rooms or Scoots already done, you can check them out here!
Memory Math Game
This is a straightforward game to do with your students. They already know how to play this game because they have been playing it for years. I use it for all of my units. For example, when I am teaching number recognition, my cards focus not only on the number, the word, but the ten frames as well. In this unit, I have three cards that need to match each other: the number, the ten frame, and the number word. My students are used to this game. However, they usually have only to find two matches. I add the challenge of having to find 3 to make a match. It is essential not only for students to recognize the actual number; they need to read the word and visualize the number on a ten frame.
Sometimes I take it a step further and have my students write down the matches they got on a piece of paper to spot check to make sure they understand the concept that I want them to know in the unit.
If you are looking for memory games already done, you can check them out here!
Find and Color Math Game
This is a great activity, especially for the younger grades. I don’t know about your class, by my class love to color! So any time I can give them to color using crayons and maybe (GASP) markers, they are all in and engaged!
I find a coloring page, and on that page, I write numbers on certain parts of the drawing. For example, if there is a picture of a snowman with a hat, I might write the sum of a problem, the buttons, the sticks, etc. Then I cut up cards where I write the problem. Students then pick up the card, read the problem, and solve it. Once they have found the answer, they find it on the coloring sheet and color in that part of the picture. It is a fun way for students to practice their skills.
If you are looking for FInd and Color already done, you can check them out here!
Solve and Match Math Game
The last game I use in my math stations is Solve and Match. This is where I have answers to problems written in boxes drawn on a piece of paper. Then I have either a spinner game piece (where you can write the issues) or just cut up cards for the problems. Students either spin or grab the card, answer the problem, and color in the box that has the answer to the problem. This is another simple and quick game that you can use with crayons and markers to keep your students engaged for their station time!
If you are looking for ones already done, you can check them out here!
Math Games can be Fun
Math Stations are a lot like Reading Stations. They give students a chance to practice and apply skills and strategies taught during the whole group lessons. While students are engaged in purposeful stations, teachers can work individually or with small, flexible groups to meet the individual needs of students. Again, if you want to read about my rotations in my stations, click here to read that post. So next time you are looking for math stations, try Three in a Row, Write the Room (or Scoot), Memory, Find and Color, and Solve and Match. The best part of these games is that they can be used with every math unit, so you just have to teach the game once, and then you are done! You may have to review the rules when you bring the game back again, but you won’t ever have to reteach it! That right there is worth its weight in gold!
Comment below and let me know what your favorite math game is!