Friday, March 5, 2010

I LOVE Games!!

I love playing games and I love playing them in my classroom! Whether to review or use to increase critical thinking skills, number sense, etc., games have a huge place in my classroom. Some of my students' favorite games include Pentago, Blokus, SET, and Racko.

With Pentago, the goal is to get 5 marbles in a row. The catch is that after your turn, you have to rotate one of the four playing areas on the board. What a great way to further study rotations! There is also an online version of this game. Great for an interactive whiteboard! Below, a picture of my students playing Pentago.

Blokus is a game where students place Tetris-like blocks on a game board. Students practice reflection and rotation to place their game pieces so that they may continue to play while
their opponents from continuing play. The game is available in two player and four player. There is an online version of this game as well that, too works well with an interactive whiteboard! iTunes has an application similar to Blokus called Kibosh. This is one of my students' favorite games!

The goal of Racko is to place your 10 cards in sequential order, but watch out! Prime cards mix up the game by allowing other players to switch any two of your cards, switch one card with you, or to take multiple turns. Great for number sense! Would also make a great game to adapt to include negative numbers! My seniors LOVE this game and always ask to play it!

The game SET is a personal favorite game of mine. I have this game on my cell phone and my iPod Touch. I also play this game everyday to try and beat my personal time on the SET Game website. The website includes a brief description of the game (a much better description that I could give). There is also an online-version of this game that my students absolutely love playing on my interactive whiteboard. Below is a student playing the online version of the game using my IWB.

There is also a SET Cubed version which is a Scrabble type version of the original game. It really takes the original SET game to a whole new level!

Blink! If you have never played this game, you should! The rules are simple enough: match cards based on color, shape, or the number of shapes on the card, but you have to be FAST! This game takes just minutes to play. My students absolutely love to play this game. It's great for all ages and all levels.

Another personal favorite of mine is the game PrimePak. PrimePak has several different types of card games that you can play with the deck. My favorite is Rummy. Like Rummy, with PrimePak you are looking for runs, but instead you have a composite number and a "run" consists of other composite numbers and/or primes that are factors of the composite number. Helps with multiplication facts and factors. Great game! Hope to post a picture soon!

24 games are a great way to review basic facts and much more. There are several different varieties of the 24 game. The object of 24 is make the numbers on the cards equal 24 by adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing. Great for practicing the order of operations! My favorite 24 game is the variable version where the students must find the missing number that makes both "rings" equal 24. My students love this game, even the ones who think they aren't good at math!


  1. Sounds like we have similar tastes in games. Do you like Blink? It's a bit easier than the others, but fast-paced and fun.

  2. I love Blink! My students love it, too! I just hadn't had a chance to take a picture of the kids playing it yet.

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