Memorizing math facts is a necessary part of elementary school. Flash cards and repetitive chanting have their place, but, for my children, were pure drudgery. Frustrated by their lack of interest in practicing their math facts, I have searched for ways to make memorizing math facts more fun.
Our favorite math web site, Aplusmath is an easy to use site offering a worksheet generator, online flashcards and games including Matho, Concentration and Hidden Pictures. Matho combines both bingo and math facts in an exciting timed game. Or, match the math problem to the answer in concentration. Discover beautiful photographs by solving math problems in the hidden pictures game.
Both of my children enjoy music, so tapes and CD’s are perfect for us. Rock ‘n Learn makes fun audio programs featuring “cool music that teaches”. The math facts programs come in rap, rock and country versions to satisfy a variety of musical tastes. My son happily reviews multiplication facts to a funky rap beat.
A favorite educational “toy” is Leap Frog’s Twist & Shout. Children twist and shout their way to learning facts. It’s fun, it’s lively and the learning is done to a toe-tapping musical beat. Kids move and groove their way through four games, each with a “teach” and a “quiz” mode. Then they twist the number dial to solve the equation and hit it to select an answer. Answers are heard and seen on the LCD screen.
We have also made good use of the Hot Dots flash cards. Hot Dots flashcards can be used like regular flash cards, or add the Hot Dots Power Pen and children can drill independently with instant reinforcement! Kids simply touch the pen to a dot and it responds instantly signaling a correct or incorrect answer.
If traditional flashcards aren’t enough to inspire your kids to practice math facts, try these fun alternatives. Helping your child learn math facts now will make more advanced math so much easier. Have fun!
Sometimes it feels as if students of the 21st century expect to be entertained instead of being taught. Teachers worry that bringing math games into their classroom might just cater to that instead of promoting healthy learning. Playing fun games becomes a problem when they are used as a reward or a game for the sake of a game and not incorporated into the lesson. This article discusses the pros and cons of developing effective ways to make math fun by using fun games as part of their daily lessons.
Here are the Pros of using fun math games as part of every day lessons:
- The children think they are getting away with something, when they are really reviewing and reinforcing facts and concepts. You can keep their interest while working them hard.
- Students are not fools, they know they still are doing work, but given the choice would rather do a fun activity that boring drills. Motivation is key to learning and games are motivating!
- Playing fun games builds cooperative learning when breaking down into small groups to play the games. Games encourage positive interaction between students.
- Multisensory reinforcement with seeing, saying and doing is built in to the game playing experience. You “see, hear and say” while playing an educational game, and manipulate pieces and often cards as well.
- Playing some full classroom games to make math fun gives students a break and allows them to move around a bit; It activates their sensors!
Here are some Cons to using math games in your every day lessons:
- Games create too much emphasis on winning. It just takes one poor loser to ruin the activity for the whole class.
- It takes too much time to learn the rules and to get set up into small groups.
- Your classroom does not have movable desks to make some mini tables to play these board games.
- There will be an active noise level, a buzz in the room and you believe silence is golden.
- Teacher preparation time is increased initially to print out the games, and laminate if necessary.You simply do not have the time to make these activities.
Once materials are created or purchased and then organized in the most convenient way, and once the basic rules of the games are learned, children will be able to move desks around and get themselves ready to play fun games activity in no time. They want to participate, so they will move quickly. There is no better reinforcement process than multisensory activities. Using these kind of printable games and activities will not only give some multisensory reinforcement, but will also provide great ways to make math fun and educational at the same time. You cannot go wrong.