In a previous post I mentioned that I teach many of my fact recall through the use of math games. Math games have always been a passion of mine. They have so many possibilities that help with mathematics. Once a week we have a math game focus. This is two periods in the week devoted to playing math games. In addition, students who finish problems faster than others can also play math games.
Why use math games?
Math games not only are fun but they teach the basics of fact recall, WHILE, teaching understanding. They allow students to practice various strategies in addition, to learning their facts. This is the main reason why I love them so much. They teach something that is procedural in a conceptual way.
What do you do while students are playing?
Math game time is not just a time to sit back and relax (not to say that you would). During this time I am looking at how my students are developing, what strategies are they using, and what games they are playing. I am also asking questions about why they chose a particular strategy and what they were thinking while playing.
Math games at home:
Math games are also important for home. They bring the family together and help parents practise facts in a fun environment. At times my math homework is to play a math game.