Kids learn best when they are engaged and challenged! Luckily, math games have the power to do both! Read on for FREE computation games for grades K-5.
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In Kindergarten, most standards state that children should master all the combinations for the numbers to ten. In other words, understanding that 5 can be composed using 0 and 5, 1 and 4, or 2 and 3. Children should practice these combinations throughout the year, with activities differentiated based on each student’s number. Some students might be working with the combinations for 5, while others are working on the combinations for 7 or 9. Cube Trains is an example of a task that is easily differentiated. Students all perform the same task, but they each use their number. Read more and grab your free download in this post.
Have you ever asked yourself why we teach students the patterns on a hundred chart? Patterns such as ten more, ten less, one more, and one less? The reason is place value. Unfortunately, we often teach the patterns in a very abstract, rote manner, rather than with the concrete support necessary to develop an understanding of the patterns. Being able to easily add ten, or multiples of ten, is also a powerful strategy for mental computation. When adding, for example, 28 + 36, students will often add 30 to 28 (58), then add 2 to get to 60, and finally add the remaining 4 for a sum of 64. Notice that this mental strategy can be used long before the introduction of the standard algorithm. Check out this post to grab this freebie!
When it comes to computation, students need practice! Enter a super low-prep game called Eleven. Players roll three number cubes and use addition, subtraction, or a combination of both to get a result as close to 11 as possible. Use either standard dice (1-6) or ten-sided dice (0-9). The fact that they have to really think about how to use the numbers they rolled in the best way possible adds an element of problem-solving to the game. Win-win! Check out this post to download both Eleven and Twenty-One. And this post has another similar dice game for adding and subtracting 2-digit numbers.
Okay, I love dice games! But there’s a very good reason why—every time you roll the dice, you get different number combinations. Typical worksheets are what I call one-and-done. Once a student completes the problems on a worksheet, you’re not likely to use that worksheet again. Dice games, however, which generate random numbers, can be used over and over again! So they provide hours of engaging practice with very little prep work. This game includes not only multiplication but also addition. And the strategy required to win adds problem-solving. Remember, don’t help students with the strategy. Let them figure it out on their own. Head over to this post to download FREE recording sheets for three different versions of this game: 2-digit by 1-digit, 2-digit by 2-digit, and 3-digit by 2-digit.
This next game is great for practicing basic facts. There is a multiplication version and one for addition. I always had this game available for students to play! Be sure to support students who are still learning their facts by placing a multiplication or addition chart in the station with the game. Grab this freebie in this post.
Finally, here’s a dice game for adding fractions with like denominators. Provide students with fraction tiles to help them visualize the concept. You can download this FREE game from this post.