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Teaching Elementary Math Can Be Fun!

I firmly believe that the more fun both teacher and child have during a math lesson, the easier the concepts will be to teach, learn, and retain. Believe it or not, there are fun ways to teach math!

Like almost every elementary teacher in the United States, a group in Massachusetts is actively looking for ways to “make teaching math a more comfortable process for early childhood educators”.

Do you feel like you could really use an appealing, effective way to help your students learn basic math concepts and skills? Many elementary schools are impressed with the many benefits of using math games in the classroom.

Games offer a fun and natural link to math concepts. And games can, if you select the right ones, help children learn almost everything they need to master in elementary math. Good, child-centered games are designed to take the boredom and frustration out of the repetitive practice necessary for children to master important math skills and concepts.

The following is one of my favorite games for kindergarteners, first graders, and second graders:

Turn Over 5
What you need:
2 players
cards 0 – 5, 4 of each

The object of this Concentration-type game is to capture pairs of cards that add up to 5.

Mix up the cards and lay them face down in four rows of six. Players take turns by choosing two cards to turn over, trying to find a combination that adds up to 5. If they find one, they keep (capture) that pair. If they do not, they turn the two cards back over for the next player. When all matches have been made, the player with the most cards wins the game.

Variation: This game can be made more challenging by using higher cards and a different sum, such as 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 15, etc.

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