Using games to teach mathematics

Some of the most engaging learning in my classroom comes when playing mathematical games. Concepts fundamental to the lesson are explored while students find playing games both motivating and enjoyable. Often this creates a more relaxed manner, although that depends on how competitive the students in the class are!

When introducing a game, I often play against the class. This gives the opportunity to model good strategies and reveal any misconceptions. I also find it a great way to develop and continue good relationships with my teaching groups. Once students are engaged in the activity, my time is spent observing and assessing understanding, as well as working with those that may require additional help. When reviewing the activity I ask students about winning strategies, highlight the mathematics involved and ask how we could modify the game to suit different situations.

Playing mathematics games encourages strategic thinking, problem solving and develops fluency. They give the chance for students to apply their learning in a different context and the opportunity to explain and discuss the mathematics involved with their peers - often without fear of failure.

Click here for our collection of great mathematics based games to use in the classroom.

As soon as the rules of a game are understood, students often require little teacher input, making games an ideal learning activity at home. The benefits of playing games in school also applies at home: students are motivated and have a positive approach to the mathematics involved, strengthening the school-home relationship.

On 30 April, families have the opportunity to try out some of the great mathematics-based games in our collection. There will also be an opportunity to explore our physical resource collection as well as a talk on ‘Maths on the go’ by best-selling author Rob Eastaway. For more details, and to book your free tickets, visit our Eventbrite page.

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