Math Rotations – Game/Activity Ideas


The four components of my Math Rotations are Teacher Time, Seat Work, Tech Time, and Game. Today’s post will focus on ideas for the Game and Activity Rotation.  This rotation is important because it provides a chance for students to practice the skill, it is often a hands-on type of activity or game, and gives students a chance to work with a partner or group.

Math Skills Games:

On TPT, many websites, and math resource books you will find all kinds of games that you can use to help students practice and review math skills.  I like to use games that are easy for students to play (so they’ll be able to do it independently) and fun!  Here are a few examples:

Math Curriculum Games:

Most math curriculum resources also have their own games or center activities as a part of the program.  I have used enVisions, Investigations, and Every Day Math programs and all have games that you can use during this time.

Compare, Double Compare, and Triple Compare are all great adding and number sense games that you can play with a deck of cards.

Other Hands-On Activities: 

I also like to throw in other hands-on activities during this rotation.  One of my favorites is the Skittles Graphing Activity.  Students each get a bag of Skittles and have to create a bar graph based on the colors of the Skittles. After creating their graph they answer questions about their data.

I also love this activity when teaching area. I got this activity from Blair Turner and it’s her Dream House Activity.  Students get to create their own Dream House with their own rooms.  They love being creative on this one! Then, after creating their rooms they have to find the area of each room and the total area of their house.

Dream House Area Activity

Another great activity that my students have enjoyed is building 2D and 3D shapes with this kit. I got this kit from Scholastic in the teacher area a few years ago with bonus points and they love creating different shapes with it!

Games/Activities Tips:

  • Model – It is so important to make sure you model and show them how to do the game or activity.  This will make it easier for them to play it independently so that they are not interrupting your group with questions.
  • Directions – Leave simple and easy to read directions with the game.  This is helpful so that if they have a question or forgot how to play, they’ll be able to figure it out on their own.
  • Partner Skills – Prior to having students start rotations I would have a class discussion about how partners should work together.  We would talk about what it would look like and sound like and create an anchor chart so the expectations are clear. 

If you missed my past posts from my Math Rotations Blog Series, click below…

FREE Math Rotations Planner

Photo of Math Rotation Planning Page for teachers to use to plan out their math block.

Math Rotations can seem a little overwhelming at first especially when you are trying to differentiated to meet the needs of all of your students. To help make this easier, I’ve created this digital or printable planning sheet that you can use to plan out your whole rotation for the day – standards, mini-lesson, rotation activities, and differentiated small group activities. This is a FREEBIE that you can sign up for HERE. Happy math planning!

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