Games and warm-ups introduction
“Game of the Week” started as a weekly email to teachers I have been working with, giving suggestions of games to play to develop maths skills.
The games are able to be played by many levels, with some variations. The aim is that most of the games require little equipment or photocopying.
They can be used as warm-ups, part of explicit teaching, independent practice or cool downs. Be prepared to play games over and over. It takes time and practice to develop strategies for success, to develop fluency in mental strategies and to find the maths in the game. Often when playing games we go through stages:
- Learning how to play the game
- Enjoying the game for fun
- Strategising to win (This is the point when we should be discussing the maths)
- Mastery (This is when it’s time to put the game away for a while!)
Don’t be afraid to allow the students to talk about the games, make up local rules and create new variations. It’s good to tweak an old game in a new format to freshen it up a bit.
Talk about the maths in the games – identify the maths topics this game could cover, get students to share their strategies and ways of calculating, discuss ways of recording thinking and scoring for games. Make the students accustomed to discussing, reasoning and generalising about the game and game play, as well as just enjoying playing.
Good questions to ask:
- Whats the maths in this?
- What strategies are you using?
- What is something you learned from playing today?
- What does this remind you of?
- How could you use these skills in a different way?
- Is this game fair for all players?
You can find a variety of game ideas here. Have fun!!