by Elizabeth Supan, Monthly Columnist
As summer approaches, I have been thinking about how to keep my students activity working on their math skills during the summer. We have worked so hard all year long to master all of our math skills, that I do not want the “summer slump” to kick in and chip away at all of our hard work. How do we keep students working throughout the summer if we are not there to check in each day?
Games! This year, as the end of the year approaches, my students will be creating games and game boards to take home over the summer to use to review all of the math skills that we have covered this year. My students have always loved playing the games that I have put in our math tubs for station work. This is now their opportunity to create some of their own to keep.
How to Create Math Games with Students
I will be putting my students in groups of three or four students to collaborate and decide on the types of games they will want to create. In my classroom, I have provided a variety of formats all year. These include roll and cover games, games using game boards, task cards and “poke” games. For the roll and cover games, students roll dice to determine numbers to multiply together. They place a counter on the number on their game board if it is there. The first person to cover his entire board wins. The “poke” games are simply flashcards with three possible answers. Each answer has a hole punched out below it. The correct answer has been starred or circled on the back of the card so that this game can be independent and self-checking.
Once the students decide on the format for the game, they will then choose a skill that we have covered this year. Then, they will work in teams to create the game pieces, game boards, task cards, etc. to complete their games. Since they are working in teams and I want each student to be able to go home with a game, they will create enough games for each team member.
Another way I plan on having my students review over the summer is to have their end of the year present be a deck of cards. With the deck of cards, I will create task cards for them to use to practice math fluency! I’m hoping this will keep my students practicing all summer long. When the students return in the fall, their teachers will be so impressed with their knowledge!
How do you plan on keeping your students engaged this summer?
About the Author
Elizabeth Supan is an elementary school teacher in South Carolina with 18 years experience. Currently she is a 4th grade math teacher. She uses small group math instruction to meet the needs of her diverse learners. You can read more about her teaching on her blog Fun in Room 4B. Aside from teaching, Elizabeth enjoys crafting, completing DIY projects and spending time with her husband and children.