Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Math Games/Centers- Jenga, Guess Who, and Ker-Plunk!

Mathematics is one of my absolute favorite subjects to teach. I love seeing my students enjoying math and saying things like, "this is so much fun! Who knew math could be fun?" It makes me smile to see them enjoying their learning. It is one of the many rewards of this wonderful job.

I like to spend some time reviewing concepts after we have completed a unit. I find that a worksheet style review is effective in many ways, however I believe that every student learns differently and many of my kiddos are kinesthetic learners, they gotta' touch, feel, and experience it to understand it. I love this.

Many times, we play review games in a "center" style rotation. This week we spent some time reflecting on percents, fractions, and decimals. I created a few games by putting a spin on some old favorites that live in my game closet. My students LOVED every second of the review. Some even stayed in for recess to "study" for their upcoming math test. 

Math Ker-plunk
I put sticky labels on the ends of Kerplunk sticks and folded them in half. The way this game works is you pull out the sticks one by one hoping that you DON'T make the marbles fall out by pulling your stick out. I had one student call out a fraction, percent, or decimal. The other student needed to find that particular stick equivalent version of what his partner called out. For example, if I called out 99%, my partner would need to find 99/100 or .99 on the sticks. (this could also work with cards that the students would flip over if you wanted this to be a bit more independent)

Math Guess Who
Who doesn't love a good ol' game of Guess Who. This game works very similarly to the original version. Students choose a card from the deck and need to give the other student clues of "what it is not" by answering questions and narrowing it down until ONLY one card remains flipped up on their board. For example, if my card was 8/10, and my partner asked "Is is a fraction?" I would reply "yes" and she would flip down everything on her board that was not a fraction. If she asked, "Is it in simplest form?" I would say, "no" and she would flip down everything that was in simplest form. In the end, my partner would only have 8/10 standing up on their board and they would win. 

 Math Jenga
Students give each other clues to direct them to which peg they need to push out of the tipping tower. They (of course) try to make it challenging by having their peers push out CHALLENGING pegs! If I saw that 9/10 was a tricky peg, I would say something like, "Push out the peg that is equivalent to 90%" (In the game I created, there was more than one!) It was so fun and stressful to watch!

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