“Can we play a game?”

“Can we have a free day?”

These are typical pleas heard almost daily in my middle school math classroom. Most days, of course, I have to be a scrooge and tell them no, that we are in math class and it’s supposed to be agonizing because how else would I get my entertainment?

However, I have a few favorite websites that I use to reinforce certain math concepts. Remember the old game “Connect Four,” where you drop checkers into the slots and try to get four in a row before your opponent can block you? At http://www.shodor.org/interactivate/activities/ArithmeticFour/ you can play a version where the students answer problems dealing with concepts such as operations using positive and negative integers. Kids love doing this in class, and get lots of much needed practice while competing with their classmates. I have to warn you though, tweens are brutal!

My favorite site is the National Library of Virtual Math Manipulatives, http://nlvm.usu.edu . There are tons of games and mind benders on this site. I enjoy getting on here myself and playing just for fun! Remember about 20 years or so ago (wayyy back before my time, by the way!) we had those little plastic squares with the numbers 1-15 in them, that you had to slide side to side and up and down to try and put the numbers in order? There is actually one of these on the site called Fifteen Puzzle, under the Algebra 6-8 block.

Other fun puzzles on the same site that you may recognize are the peg puzzle, Towers of Hanoi, Circle Zero, Circle 21, Circle 99, and Circle 3. Whether you or your child go on these sites just for fun or just for curiosity’s sake, you’re bound to get some practice in some math related skill without knowing it! Just don’t tell them it will be fun!

*Have a math question that needs answered? Ask me anytime…I will try to help explain how to solve it!*

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Posted in Tips for keeping math interesting

Tags: FUN MATH, help me solve this math problem, help my child get better at math, how to get your child to like math, math 101, MATH HELP, MATH HELP FOR YOU, math problem, MATH PUZZLES, math student, MATH WEBSITES, middle school math, ONLINE MATH GAMES

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