If you’ve had difficulty getting your students actively engaged in reviewing math, here are seven ideas you can immediately put to use in your classroom to inspire success.
1. Partner Up. One way to get students energized to review math is to create math partners that work together to solve what you have assigned them. Careful consideration of behaviors and compatibility must be taken into account so that partners interact effectively. It’s also important to teach how partners should interact with one another, and what they should do if they disagree or come up with different answers.
2. Center Activity. If you have centers in your room, you can make a “Math Review” center where students go and review specific math problems, concepts, or anything else you want them to focus on. Again, make sure students know the procedure of how the center works, and what to do when/if they finish the activity early.
3. Bag of Stuff. Students find a bag of item intriguing. A variety of activities can be developed and placed in a “bag”. You can make it simple using a paper or plastic bag, or get fancy and make/decorate your own. Depending on what standard you are working on, or want to review, can guide your bag activity. For example if you are working with multiplication, you can have colored note cards, one color with the problem, another color with the answer. Students would then have to match each card with the correct answer by solving the problems on paper. Therefore inside this bag you could have small decorative paper, colorful pencils, the note cards, a timer if you want them to work for a specific amount of time, and anything else you think would be relevant or helpful.
4. Create-Your-Own Problems. Have students create their own problems for their partners or tablemates to solve. For instance, if you are working on two digit multiplication, each student would create five/ten problems, then exchange with their neighbor to take turns solving the problem. You can then have them check each others answers. Make it a game too. Whoever gets 5 or 10 right wins.
5. Complete the Problem. You start a problem off and the student completes and solves it. For example -4+___=? or 345X__=? Again, if the student can trade with someone afterwards to check for accuracy then it will focus them even more to work carefully because they will want to get the correct answer.
6. Online Games. If your students have access to computers, laptops, or tablets (ie: ipads), you can literally find thousands of free educational math games that can review any math standard you want. Doing a quick Internet search will list a whole bunch of options. For example, typing “online multiplication games” in Google returns a nice variety of fun, entertaining flash card and alien blasting games that can really get your students excited about reviewing math.
7. Board Games. There are a variety of board games or printed paper games that review any math standard you want. Sometimes your grade level chair/colleagues already have math board games they will probably loan you if you ask (and promise to take care of and return). You can also check with your school’s Title 1 coordinator or the one responsible for ordering/maintaining school supplies/books/equipment.
Hopefully these ideas got your wheels turning about the possibilities for you and your students. Having activities like these breaks the monotony of the traditional teaching method and lets the students have some fun while at the same time review math material. Just don’t forget the importance of explicitly teaching the students how they are to use/play with a certain activity first so there is no confusion for the students.
About the Author
|Gregory L. Gomez
Gregory L. Gomez, M. Ed, has been teaching 5th grade in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 12 years. He createdhttp://www.10Quickies.com to help teachers and parents provide children with a fun and creative way to review grade level math standards and concepts. Get valuable teaching strategies and teaching tips along with FREE math worksheets samples to download.