Looking for Maths Week inspiration? Guest teacher author, Roisín O Rourke, has shared three rapid fire game ideas to engage students with number facts and counting.
This game can be adjusted for adding or subtracting.
The class begins silently. You point to one child with a sum, for example, ‘7 + 9’. When they answer with 16, point to another child and say ‘plus 3’. That child must answer 19 and so on.
This could be done with the whole class and then adapted for stations as an independent group challenge in older classes. The children really have to work on their listening skills here because if they haven’t listened to the last answer, then it’s back to the start!
The goal is to get to a given number appropriate to your class, for example, younger classes could get to 50 or 100 and older classes might be able to get to 1000 or more using place value knowledge to add hundreds, tens or units.
This game is modelled like the video game and can be played with any Maths facts. It works really well at the end of a topic as a revision game.
The kids spread out over the room and ensure that they have space around them.
You choose a child to answer a question (Tip: a fair way to choose would be to have a jar with all the kids names in it and to choose from it). For example, ‘8 x 8. What is my answer?’ The child answers the question and if answered correctly, they get to take a step forward or to the side, moving somewhat like a robot or like PacMan. If they can stretch out their arms and tap someone out, they can. That tapped person is ‘out’.
The aim of the game is to be the last person standing. As things get more competitive, the children soon learn a few hacks, like if they glue their feet to the ground but hunker down and stretch forward, they will cover more ground!
Any child that gets knocked out, gets the chance to answer a question that another cannot answer.
The children all line up back to back in a straight line, holding up their ‘zapper’ (hands together in the form of a zapper/shooter).
The teacher begins calling out Math facts that may be true or may be false.
If the fact is true, the children all take a step forward. If the fact is false, they spin around and ‘zap’ the person opposite them. The partner to zap the other first, is the winner.
This can be played multiple times. My class love playing ‘knock-out championships’ with this. All winners go head to head and any child knocked out goes head to head with another child who was knocked out to ensure they still play on.