“I don’t like it.”
You typically hear these replies when you ask students what they think about math. Break this myth and help them understand mathematical concepts while having fun with numbers.
Here are some fun math activities that can help make the subject interesting.
When students understand, it’s quick to remember, apply, transfer, and blend in concepts to various perspectives.
The ultimate goal of math is to develop problem-solving skills. This is why the instructions should be easy on the process and interesting enough to help learners understand what is being presented. Good apprehension results in the quick application of skills.
There’s little benefit in students simply memorizing a formula or procedure, but a long-term advantage when one understands the core concept.
>>>Thinking of math tools for your classroom? We found the best math manipulatives for your class.
What Are Some Fun Math Activities That Can Engage Your Students
1) Entice Students with Games
Everybody likes it when they hear the word game. Automatically, it excites the mind with the possibility of fun. Games reinforce the different mathematical concepts, and the word “game” alone helps students forget that math is difficult and boring.
For instance, Math Bingo builds on addition and subtraction skills. Since the game requires teams, it sparks the fun of who could be the best team. Each group should solve a problem using numbered tiles to visualize solutions. From this alone, the students are encouraged to think of ways to solve a problem, together.
Games present fundamental number concepts that allow students to explore strategies. Depending on the game, it boosts counting, one-to-one correspondence, and various computation skills.
2) Bring Topics Using Multiple Presentations
Regardless of how simple a presentation is, it brings a huge relief that untangles confusion. The more types of representations you show the more learning styles your learners will discover and the more they will understand the concept being presented.
The art of visual representation introduces solving problems word for word or figure by figure, which is more likely to help them solve the problems accurately. Showing photographs, illustrations, concrete items, or drawing out the problem, and using manipulatives strengthens focus and strategic thinking.
For example, in presenting linear relationships, illustrating them using a number line in words, show the steps taken to acquire the solution. It explains their findings in a clear and organized manner. The result is a better assessment of problems, analysis, and solutions. Easy and fun, right?
3) Employ Modeling & Use Your Students’ Names
Hearing our names is so nice to the ears. The same is true with students in your class. In fact, using their names in math activities is engaging and fun.
For example, when explaining arithmetic, come up with simple stories while doing addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. Randomly choosing a child to include in each example is effective in enticing students to be attentive.
When you say, “Annie has ten chocolate cookies.” Instantly, you get Annie’s attention. Continue by saying, “She gave 2 pieces to Dave, 2 pieces to Oliver, and 2 pieces to Abby, so how many pieces does Annie have left?” Now you have those students’ attention along with the rest of the class.
Students find this problem logical so everybody will be engaged to find the answer. If you can produce real chocolate cookies, then all the better.
4) Use Colors, Patterns, and Their Combination
There’s science in maximizing color when it comes to math lessons such as using colored paper, printing in color, incorporating color in numbers, presentations, and student work.
Colors, their combinations, and their placement are proven to have a good effect on attention, feelings, memory, and behavior. So, it’s time you use colors to your advantage. So explore patterns, place values, and many more number combinations with strong colors.
Considering how students interact with lesson material means you can describe math analysis in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation. This is perfect for color-coding, doodling, and using colored patterns and tools.
5) Bring the Grocery Store to Your Classroom
The grocery store is one of the most relevant places where math is at work. This activity perfectly introduces addition, subtraction, measurement, estimation, and budgeting. Your class will learn how sizes, shapes, quantity, and volume are related to the things they use at home every day.
Bring their imagination to the different grocery sections. List on the board items they can buy with prices. Now think of ideas that can use multiplication and division. You can also pick students to roleplay paying to the cashier and check if their solutions to problems are correct.
Instilling a shopping mode allows you to teach how discounts are applied. Soon everyone in the class will learn how to manage money and might be excited to show and help in budgeting while grocery shopping with their parents.
6) Make Use of Technology and the Internet
Integrating technology can break the monotony of computations, quizzes, and worksheets.
Let a smartboard help you form shapes and move vertices on the board to define attributes. Because it’s fun looking at triangles and squares that can grow smaller and bigger on the board, young learners are eager to come up and work on the board, too.
You can take real-life pictures of scenarios and create videos with embedded mathematical ideas, or utilize virtual tools for geometric constructions. Through the Google classroom, you can allow the class to complete a worksheet with drawing tools. There are free math apps that you and your students can use.
7) Embrace Manipulatives
Using manipulatives sounds old school but remains a very useful strategy in engaging students in a more dynamic learning experience. Sorting, distinguishing patterns, measuring, or ordering numerals using toys help them solve problems in a more explanatory way.
Play money, for instance, interestingly teaches them how to solve daily computations while blocks can develop their understanding of building patterns, shapes, and sizes. For learners who needed help with math, concrete examples that they can see, touch, and try by themselves provide support in dealing with the subject. Plus, toys are fun for them.
Fun and engagement are the first important factors that make learning numbers less stressful. What triggers memories are the same things that engage the brain to recall so it is more likely that what has been learned is stored in long-term memory.
Guided math in your classroom gets your students thinking, moving, and collaborating. You get it right showing the whys and hows of a mathematical problem and not just simply memorizing the procedures. Students will like your giving them more time and space to grasp what is difficult by smoothening out the process slowly.
They will thank you for helping them practice math instructions at their own pace.
Do you know of other math activities to add to this list? Share them with us. We will be helping thousands of students learn math with ease than with anxiety.