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September 5, 2012

Swat! A Math Facts Fluency Game

Written By: Hadar Maor
X Math Facts Fluency Game for the Classroom

Math Facts Fluency Game for the Classroom

With the common core standards in full swing, teachers are looking for fun ways to incorporate the standards into everyday learning. Knowing basic math facts fluently is a very important skill for your students to learn. But how do you teach your students to memorize their math facts without just drilling them? My favorite way is through games! Today I’m going to share with you a fun game that my students love called “Swat”.

Math Facts Fluency Game

To set up the game you will need:

  • A game mat {a large poster board works great}
  • A couple of fly swatters {which can be found at your local dollar store}
  • Game cards {you can make your own or use flash cards}

To make the game cards, decide what facts you want your students to practice. In Kindergarten, the common core standards require students to fluently add and subtract within five, so I would make flashcards for addition and/or subtraction facts within five. At the beginning of the year, I would recommend sticking to one operation or the other, you can combine them toward the end of the year.

Write the answers on the poster board so that they are large and spread apart from each other. Set the poster board up in a central location, either on the whiteboard or on the carpet. Depending on the size of your class, you can choose how many students play at once, or divide your class into teams. Give each student playing a fly swatter and have them stand close to the board.

As you start calling out the math problems, the students solve the problems and “swat” the correct answer. The fun part of the game is that the students need to be fluent in solving the problems so that they can swat first. They will be learning and they won’t even know it!

A tip:

To save time and to be able to use the same board for several different games, laminate the poster board before writing on it. You can adhere the numbers onto the board by writing them on post-it notes first and then change them out for a different game. Or you can write directly on the poster board with a dry erase or vis-à-vis marker and wipe off the answers to create a new game.

You can use this game with any type of fast facts, sight words, telling time. The possibilities are endless!



About the Author

Hadar Maor, author of the education blog Miss Kindergarten, has known that she’s wanted to be a teacher since she was in second grade. She loves organizing, crafting, DIY projects, baking, the beach, bargain shopping and sharing her passion of teaching and blogging with others. Find her on Facebook!

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  • Diane Fulp
    August 9, 2014

    I found some flyswatters at WalMart this past year that had the word “SPLAT” on them.  I bought them and made a fluency game out of them.  It is a 3 person game. It comes in handy when there is an odd number of students.  I have a deck of addition/subtraction cards.  One person flashes a fact card.  The other two, each holding a splat swatter, sees who can correctly solve the fact.  They must, first, swat the floor, yelling “SPLAT”, then answer the problem.  They LOVE this game!

  • Patty
    November 11, 2012

    I find this game exciting and challenging for even my fourth graders. They love to move and this gives them a chance to actively take part and have fun while learning facts.

  • Carissa
    September 18, 2012

    I love using flyswatters! When I taught ESL we would draw the body parts (or whatever other vocabulary we had learned) on the board to review it. After we got to play the game. They loved it!

  • marlo123
    September 14, 2012

    I very much agree with what you wrote in this article, this is information that I had been looking for, thank you because you are willing to share with us.

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