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7 Classroom Math Activities That Will Make Math Engaging and Fun

FEB 26, 2018

1st grade math

Fun, hands‑on math games are a great way to make early math concepts clear and keep your students engaged.

Introducing math games into the classroom is a great way to make learning fun, engaging and motivating for young learners.

And the best part about starting early (kindergarten to grade 2) is that it helps your students to develop a positive attitude toward math from an early age, setting them up for a successful academic future.

Here are some fun classroom math activities that will have your students begging to do more.

Math Bingo

This math game is sure to become a fast favorite with your students. You can choose whatever skill you want to review, such as addition, subtraction, or number sequencing. The game works just like regular bingo, except students have to solve math problems in order to know what number to mark off of their sheet.

To prepare, make a list of 25 math problems (e.g. 2+1, 3–0, or 2, 4, 6, _ ). Write the answers on the same sheet of paper.

Create your own 5x5 bingo cards or generate them online. At random, write the answers on the cards using the solutions from your list. There should be a bingo card for each student playing. You can laminate the cards to use for next time and have students place pennies or rocks to mark their answers.

Make a paper plate clock

Are your students learning to tell time this year? This hands‑on craft activity is a fantastic way to practice this important skill.

Start with a paper plate and make a small hole at the center. Students should write the numbers in the correct places. Using colored paper, they can then cut the clock hands to the right size and secure them using a split pin from the center. You can even use a second plate (different color) for students to write the minutes. Glue the second plate to the bottom of the first so that it creates a rim.

Guess the weight

Children love playing guessing games, and when it comes to whether something is heavy or light, there can certainly be a few surprises in store for them.

Gather several items and spread them across a table. One at a time, ask students to guess the weight of each item and write their predictions in one column on a page (you can create a simple template for this too). Using kitchen scales, invite individual students to weigh each item and record the correct answers in a second column. You can also add a column in between and pass each item around the class, so students can guess the weight after holding each in their hand.

Hopscotch math

This game is a great way to get your students outside on a nice sunny day. Using a piece of chalk, draw a hopscotch grid on the pavement mimicking a calculator layout. Ask students to form a line and one by one, give them a simple operation (e.g. 2+3, 5–0). Students should take turns hopping on each element of the equation in the correct order, landing finally on the answer.

In another game, you can call out a number and ask students to hop on any equation that equals to that number. For a fun twist, ask students to hop on one leg for odd numbers, and two legs for even numbers.

classroom math activities hopscotch
Hopscotch math is a fun activity which helps students to practice simple operations.

Pizza fractions

Fractions can be tricky, so this activity can really help students to visualize key concepts. Create an instruction sheet with five different fractions on each (you can create several so different students get a different set). Students should create a pizza (using construction paper, or even the inside of an empty pizza box) and decorate the toppings to represent each fraction.

For example, if they had a quarter (fourth), they should cover one-quarter of the pizza with a specific ingredient (e.g. mushrooms or pepperoni).

'Lengthy' scavenger hunt

Divide students into groups and give each group a list of measurements and a measuring tool (e.g. a ruler, tape, trundle wheel). Instruct students to find items that are exactly the length of what they have listed. For younger students who haven't yet been introduced to measurement, draw various lines on their sheet and ask them to find items that are exactly the same length.

Make sure you prepare items beforehand and place them in a safe and visible spot. This activity can be done outside or in the classroom.

Survey and graph

Ask each student to think of a question they’d like to survey their fellow classmates on. For example, they might like to ask their classmates what their favorite animal is out of a dog, monkey, pig, or chicken. Give students time to walk around the classroom quizzing each other and recording their data.

Once students have collected enough data, ask them to represent their results by building a bar graph using linking cubes, blocks, or Legos. They can use sticky notes or bits of paper to create labels above each bar. Take a photo of each student's graph, which you can later print out to create a class collage to display.

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