Use dice or playing cards (1-9; Ace =1) and grid paper.
Take turns rolling two dice or picking two playing cards. The two numbers that are picked are used for the width and length dimensions of a rectangle. The rectangle can be placed anywhere in the grid paper as long as it does not overlap with another rectangle. Play continues until one player does not have a place for their rectangle. The picture below shows the start of a game.
Each player should have a 3 x 3 grid. In each box a number from 2 to 12 is placed. The same number can be used more than once. The goal of the game is to be the first person to have all of your boxes crossed off. Once all players have their boxes filled in, two dice are rolled. The two numbers are summed and all players check their boxes to see if the number appears in a box. Players may only cross one number off for each roll. For example, if a player had the number 6 in three boxes and a total of 6 is rolled, the player can only cross off one six. The picture below shows the start of a game with a sample board. The two dice continue to be rolled until one player has all numbers crossed off.
After playing the game multiple times, ask students what totals are more likely to be rolled. The image below has the number of ways each total can be rolled and the probability of each sum being rolled.
Small, Large, or Target
This game can be played by having players try to get the smallest number, the largest number, or be closest to a target number. This should be decided at the start of the game along with what operation will be used (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division). The number of boxes used in this game can be varied with 2, 4, 6, or 8 boxes. 10 playing cards are needed for these games (2-9 and Ace =1 and Jack = 0). Let one player pick one of the 10 cards while the cards are face down. After the card is selected each player needs to decide what box to place the number in. Once a number is placed in a box it cannot be changed. The selected card is then removed from the pile and another card is selected. Play continues until all boxes are filled with a number. Players then solve the problem and the winner is determined. The winner is based on what was selected at the start of the game. Either trying for the smallest number, the largest number, or being closest to a target number.
A focus on vocabulary in math is vital for students to be able to discuss mathematics with precision. In the meme above it is conveyed that the student thinks the word "cross" refers to a crossover dribble in basketball. There are often words that have an everyday meaning and then also an academic meaning. In math, there is important vocabulary that has a mathematical meaning that students need to develop understanding with. The table below has some examples.
Consistency in teaching math within a grade level and across grade levels is important. Consistent usage of vocabulary can help reduce cognitive load on students and help them make connections better. It also assists students in understanding mathematical questions that are posed and to discuss math clearly with other students.
Word walls are a great way to help students learn vocabulary. There are a variety of games that can be used with word walls. One example is below.
Bluff word wall game
Split the class into 2 teams. Ask a question of one team about the words on the wall. Students who would like to be considered to answer stand up. They can either KNOW the question or BLUFF. The teacher or someone from the other team chooses one student to answer. If they get it correct, the team gets points for everyone standing up (even if they were bluffing!). If the student does not get it correct then the team gets no points. The question moves to the next team OR you can tell the answer and give the next team a new question.
Christian, author, and professor of mathematics education.