I previously wrote a blog about three activities that can be used at the end of a lesson. Here I want to share a few more little activities that I like to use in my classroom.
The first one is entitled “Pass the Bomb” – it is called this as I use a plastic bomb from the game “Pass the Bomb”. This is a word game (super fun) which I had and thought would be fun to translate into a maths game.
It is very simple. The class stand in a circle (or their best attempt at a circle). I state a topic such as 2D shapes and each pupil has to name a 2D shape then pass the bomb to the next player. You are not allowed to repeat a shape that has already been said – this is to try to encourage better listening skills. If you repeat a shape, hesitate for too long or the bomb goes off in your hands then you get 1 point. I then change the topic to something else, maybe the 13 times table. This is where many pupils get into bother because they do not go systematically but jump around. Leads to all sorts of confusion. I used to play it as a knock out game but then pupils didn’t get to keep playing. The winner(s) are those with the fewest points.
The second one is another dice game – yes I love dice games – this can be played as a whole class game or as a round robin challenge.
I call this “Make a Million” The idea is a simple one, create 2 six digit numbers when added together make as close to 1 million.
You roll a 10 sided die 12 times. As each number is called out the pupils start to build their numbers. They must write each number in as it is called out and are not allowed to change the positioning of the number once written. When all the numbers have been rolled, the pupils add their numbers together to see who has closest to 1 million.
I like this as a game for junior pupils as it allows good discussion of place value and practises addition as well. If playing as a round robin, the pupils play in twos and the winner of each pair moves round to a new opponent.
An extension to the game is to say afterwards “using the 12 numbers rolled, what is the nearest number to 1 million that is possible?”
My final little activity is called “Guess My Number”. I choose a number between 1 and 1000 and write it on a piece of paper. Each group takes it in turns to ask me a questions about my number. The questions can vary from “is it even?” to “what do the digits add up to?” to “is it a palindrome?” (my classes know I like palindromes!) When a group thinks they have figured it out they write it down and bring it up to me. Each group is only allowed three attempts so cannot keep guessing randomly. I like this for emphasising mathematical knowledge such as multiples, primes, squares, …