Home » Three maths games that will make them think!

Three maths games that will make them think!

Guest teacher author Roisín O Rourke, has shared some game ideas that will require your students to take care and think about numbers and patterns carefully.

Have the children use their whiteboards for this. Ask them to write down the smallest (whole) number they can think of. Zero doesn’t count!

Now, obviously the children will all want to write down (drum roll…) the number one! However, if a number is chosen by more than one person, they are out!

The winner is the person who has chosen the smallest number (obviously one that no one else has picked!).

When the children reveal their numbers, ensure that they hold their whiteboards up in the air to avoid the last minute scuttle to change their answers – it can tend to get pretty competitive!

For older students, you can try a variation and alter the game by asking them to choose a number closest to a target number, e.g. 100.

Finding out who is closest will take a little bit of working out. They could choose a number bigger than the target!

This game begins with one child and goes in order around the table and onto the next table to make it fair. Agree on this before the game starts to avoid any confusion or wars!

The whole class stands up.

The initial child starts counting by saying 1. The next child then says 2. The third child doesn’t say anything but must clap in place of saying 3. This pattern continues on and every multiple of 3 must be clapped or else that person sits down. It gets very confusing and requires a HUGE amount of concentration, but they love it! 

It’s a great game to practice skip counting once the children are comfortable with the patterns it follows.

Once the kids are used to the game, you could change the command for another number by combining multiples, for example, clap for 3 and ‘ssshh’ for 5

If you wanted to test this game out for younger classes, you could begin with using it to practice odd and even numbers. 

Guest Teacher Author

Teachers’ Corner's school based guest authors share practical ideas and insights from their classrooms and schools.

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