Tag Archives: Games

New Factor Pair Spoons Game

The Factor Pair Spoons Game is a new game that was inspired by participants in the Professional Development Series that I’m conducting every month this semester at my college.  Last month’s topic was ‘Playing Games to Learn Math’ and I asked the participants to come up with a game for a topic that they felt was a difficult topic for students.  This game is a variation on what they came up with.  The spoons game was one of their suggestions, but they ended up turning it into more of a rummy-style game because they thought that the spoons might become too chaotic for some students in the classroom.

Factor Pair Spoons Game

New Logarithm Mania Game

Logarithm Mania is a new game for students to practice solving logarithmic equations when the base, the argument, or the value is missing.  I have always struggled with teaching this concept because although the basic equations included in this game are easy to solve, if they are not mastered, then solving more complex logarithmic equations becomes extremely difficult (you know, the ones where we ask students to do factoring and apply the properties of logarithms).  I hope that someone finds this game useful.  As always, any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Logarithm Mania Game

Fractions Game for Math for Elementary Teachers

This is a game that I made specifically to show to my Math for Elementary Teachers class (I have been making a lot of stuff for the students in that class this semester which is why this blog has been sitting dormant).  However, I must say that I am very excited about this game that I just had to share it.  Long story short, it has been over 80 degrees in my classroom the last week or so, and going outside to demo this game with my students is the perfect excuse to get out of the classroom!  If you are teaching Math for Elementary Teachers, you are welcome.  The only thing I am not sure about is how the People Cards will look once they are printed, but since I have already set them to Gray Scale, my guess is that they will not look too terribly bad.

New Games, Activities, and Projects

In this post, I want to talk about a few of the projects that I have been working on over the break to use with my students in the upcoming Winter 2012 Semester.


1.  Electrifying Truth Table – This is an activity that a friend of mine got from Pete Wildman during the 2011 AMATYC Conference in Austin, TX.  The idea is for students to build multiple different circuits to model truth tables in different situations.  The one in the picture above is the AND Circuit since both switches (sets of paperclips) must be closed for the light to turn on.  The biggest pain in getting this activity up and running was getting the proper supplies.  It seems that in Michigan where I am from, there is no ‘one stop shopping’ for these supplies.  However, the activity is a good activity.  And I do have permission from Pete to share the activity with anyone who contacts me.  So, just ask if you want it. 


2.  Hedbanz Game – If you have kids, you may have already heard of the Hedbanz Game.  But did you also know that there is a Hedbanz Adult Game?  I only found this out because I was in Toys ‘R’ Us looking for the game, but they were sold out.  So, the salesperson asked me if I would like to buy the Adult Version instead.  The main difference between the kid and the adult version is that the kids’ version has pictures on it.  This got me thinking that I could use the vocabulary words and concepts from my classes to do a math version of the game.  The picture below shows me wearing a headband with the word ‘calculators’ that I am trying to ask yes or no questions to answer.  If you want a copy of the game rules, just ask. 


3.  Indian Mathematician Project – My school is really big on Multi-Cultural initiatives and one of the college-wide activities for the upcoming semester is a display about India at the library. So, I have decided to have my classes participate in the upcoming Library Fair by creating tri-fold posters about a famous Indian Mathematician or Indian Statistician.  A couple of my students last semester created a prototype of a poster for me.  Thus, I really have a good idea of what level of work that I am expecting from my students this semester.  I encourage all of you to think of one way this semester that you can implement a Multi-Cultural initiative within your own classroom.  I believe it is a really good way to raise awareness among our students about the importance of diversity. 


4.  Prime Number Tiles:  Revisited – If you have visited my blog often enough, by now, you know my frustration with teaching students about the Least Common Multiple and the Greatest Common Factor.  I have always wanted to use these Prime Number Tiles, but it did not seem worth the trouble or the expense to me to buy the scrabble tiles or cut out the paper number squares.  But I have found a solution that I really am happy with.  I am going to write the numbers on the backs of dominos that I got from the dollar store, which is 40.5% cheaper than using the Scrabble Tiles


NOIR: New Statistics Game

NOIR stands for Nominal, Ordinal, Interval, Ratio, and is a game to help students distinguish between the four different levels of measurement.  I had been working on this game all week, and I finally had time for my students to play it in class on Thursday.  After the game, they filled out a review form for the game.  I have already tweaked the game slightly based on their feedback as the cards were not originally numbered, so it was very hard for the answers to be checked.  The students wanted the definitions on the game board somewhere, but I think that having the definitions there would defeat the purpose of helping them learn the definitions.  I did let students use notes during the game, but after they started to get used to the definitions, I saw less and less flipping through the book and notes.

Each group of four students (two teams of two students each) was given two game boards and were asked to play two rounds of the game before filling out the feedback form.  The entire process took about 30 minutes, although I had to cut some groups off in the middle of the second game because we were running out of time.  Surprisingly (to me at least), the students were actually somewhat angry about that!

If you use this game in your class, I would love to hear your feedback!

Algebra Games Day!

I had an Algebra Games Day with my students on Friday, July 29, to try out a few of my new Algebra games (as well as Mark Clark’s exponent sort).  The students filled out feedback forms and I intend to update this post with some of their comments about the games in the next few days. and the feedback is now located here: bit.ly/algebragames.  For now, enjoy the pictures! 

Freaking Functions! (file)
What the Factor! (file)
Slope Game (now called ‘Slopes and Ladders’) (file)
Mark Clark’s Exponent Sort (file)