## Classroom Math Games

Students are typically far more motivated to do math work when the math problems are presented in the context of a game. Here are a few classroom-tested math games that focus on strengthening multiplication and division skills. These games do not directly involve Math Rap, though they work at building the same skills. They have been compiled and adapted from a variety of sources.

### Flip Card

##### Materials Required:

- A deck of playing cards with the face cards removed

##### Number of Students:

- 2

##### How to Play:

Students sit facing one another with the deck split in two piles face-down between them. Each student flips over a card at the same time. The students mentally add (or subtract) the two numbers on the cards they flipped over. The student who calls out the correct answer first gets to keep those two cards. If a student calls out the wrong answer, the other player takes those two cards. Players continue until all the cards have been flipped. The student with the most cards in the end is the winner.

### Around the World

##### Materials Required:

- None

##### Number of Students:

- 4 or more

##### How to Play:

This is a popular trivia-style game that can be used with any content in any subject area. It is usually played while students are seated at their desks, though it can also be played in a circle with students seated on the floor. The first player up stands behind one of his classmates. The teacher asks a question or holds up a flashcard and the first student to answer the question correctly stands behind the next seated student. If a seated student beats the standing student to the answer, the standing student takes the seated student’s chair. The goal is to have one student go all the way “around the world,” beating all of her classmates.

### Math Relay

##### Materials Required:

- a stack of multiplication or division flashcards

##### Number of Students:

- 6 or more

##### How to Play:

Split your students into two equal groups and line each group up. Split your flashcards in half and place a pile of flashcards 10 feet or so from each line of students. When you say go, students run over to their respective pile, pick up the first flashcard and must say the correct answer out loud. If they correctly answer the question, they place the card in the discard pile and rush to tag the next player and get at the back of the line. If they answer the question incorrectly, they must put the flashcard at the bottom of the pile and pick up the next flashcard from the top. They repeat this process until they gets one right. The first team to finish their stack of flashcards wins.

### Math Quest

##### Materials Required:

- a blackboard or whiteboard

##### Number of Students:

- 2 or more (works best in small groups)

##### How to Play:

This is a very free-form game that depends entirely on the creativity and energy you bring to it. This game should be fun for all students, but will especially appeal to all those students who enjoy adventure and fantasy. It essentially works like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book.

To start, draw a simple map on the board including any elements you want (a lake, some mountains, a castle, etc…). Write the first letter of each of your students’ names somewhere on the map. Now begin to ask your students math facts or have them do Test. When a student gets a certain number of questions correct, he gets to move his character somewhere on the map. For example, let’s say that a student gets ten subtraction facts correct in a row, you might say, “Ok, now you get to move your character in the land of Math Quest. You see a towering mountain covered in clouds to the east. To the west, you see a swamp. And to the south there is a path through the woods. Where do you want to go?” The student will pick one of these, let’s say the swamp. You would now make something up. “In the swamp, you see a giant, covered in gray fur. He seems to be stuck in the mud and can’t escape. He’s looking right at you.”

Leaving the first student at this cliffhanger, you’d then move on to the next student. If she got 10 facts right, she would get to choose where her character would go. Each student gets one decision per turn. On the first student’s next turn, he might have to decide whether to help the giant out of the mud or ignore him and press deeper into the swamp. This is the type of game that can be extended over several different playing sessions if you wish.