Talking and Learning Games for First Grade Math

While first graders are acclimated to the school learning environment from attending kindergarten, using fun talking and learning games to teach math skills can motivate the children to learn quicker and keep them from getting bored. Even kids who are good at concentrating and working independently at their desks can benefit from the high energy and low pressure that is incorporated in game-related learning.

  1. Working with the 100s

    • A major task in first grade is being comfortable with the first 100 numbers. As the basis for addition and subtraction, all students must count to 100 comfortably. Working with 100s can be a fun activity both in class and as homework with tangible hands-on 100s games. In class, students can work in groups with small buckets counting out 100 pencils, erasers, blocks or by gathering 100 of a single item they find outside, like leaves or pebbles. At home, the project can be to fill a small bag with 100 of any one item and bring it in to class.

    The Mystery Pasta Solution

    • Fill a large bowl with four or five different shapes of uncooked pasta. Using a dry erase board divided into four parts, tape a different shape in each square and assign each shape a different number value (penne are worth 3, rigatoni 2 and spirals 1). Using a scoop or paper cup, have each student pour a handful of uncooked pasta from the mixture in the bowl onto their desk. Using the value chart on your dry erase board, have them group their pasta into like piles and add up the value of their total pastas.

    Roll The Dice

    • Divide the class into two teams and have the first person from each team go to the blackboard. Roll a pair of dice and have a student call out the number from the first dice. Have another student call out the number on the second dice. The team members at the blackboard must use the two numbers called out to make an addition or subtraction problem (like 4 + 5 =). Then they must solve the problem. The first team to solve their problem correctly gets a point. Have each team keep track of their number of wins also.

    Wolf Time Game

    • Using 10 squares of construction paper and a large marker, write the numbers one through 10, one number to a sheet, with a plus sign in front of each. On the back write the same number with a minus in front of it. Outside, have your kids/lambs stand side-by-side in a line while you walk 20 to 30 paces away. Turn around to face them. They must call, "Wolf, wolf what time is it?" You show them a number and they must walk that many steps toward you for a plus and back for a minus. If someone missteps, they must start over. The winner reaches the wolf first.

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