Try these end of the year classroom activities as the perfect solution for student engagement

Get all of your best math standards in one place

I have discovered a great strategy to improve our best math standards is playing games and these spiral math review games have made that an easy process to implement in my classroom. I always look for ways to add active learning strategies to my teaching and games are the perfect solution! My students get so excited when I tell them that we are going to play a game and these resources have made an amazing impact for my students.

Looking for active learning strategies to get those end of the year wiggles out? CLICK HERE to get the only math solution you’ll need for the rest of the school year and next year!


picture of math games
These spiral math games are great for student engagement!


Learning with math games is the perfect way to engage your students

Why is learning with math games the perfect solution for young learners? The answer is simple. Kids love to play games! Games actually help release endorphins that assist in knowledge retention, as well as creating a sense of happiness and excitement.  We have shared a lot of information on this blog about learning with games. We hear all the time about teacher and student frustrations when teaching math in the classroom.

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Students love playing spiral math review games!

Are you a teacher who is desperately trying to help your students connect the dots? Or are your students bored with worksheets?

Here are the 3 key reasons learning with math games can motivate your students differently.


  1. boost student confidence
  2. encourage deeper learning
  3. provide more reliable results.

Time and time again, research has proven that drill techniques and timed tests do not have the power that mathematical games and other experiences have. In an article in Mathnasium called Why Math Games are Important, Kitty Rutherford quotes Principles and Standards for School Mathematics,

Fluency requires a balance and connection between conceptual understanding and computational proficiency. Computational methods that are over-practiced without understanding are forgotten or remembered incorrectly. Conceptual understanding without fluency can inhibit the problem-solving process(p.35)

So basically the proficiency part is the math drills, worksheets, practice, practice, practice, but unfortunately in this case, practice does not make perfect. In fact, practice takes your students further away from perfect than they could be with the influence of math games in the classroom. Rutherford goes on to quote Teaching Student-Centered Mathematics Grades K–3,

Appropriate mathematical activities are essential building blocks to develop mathematically proficient students who demonstrate computational fluency (Van de Walle and Lovin, p. 94)

The main takeaway of Rutherford’s section on fluency is that you need 3 components: efficiency, accuracy, and flexibility. Your students need to do more than learn the facts. They need to apply the concepts.

One of the active learning strategies I use for fluency is games for review. I want my students to practice math skills all through the year so we review the concepts more than just once. My kids have a better understanding of math because we play games like Brain Bounce for review, and they have the opportunity to strengthen multiple math skills for first graders at once! They love playing the game because they break into teams, so it is a wonderful way for students to collaborate as well.

I also use these cards in math centers with the recording sheet, and I have used them as read around the room cards so I can get my students up and moving.

Want these amazing cards and games for yourself? CLICK HERE to get the only math solution you’ll need for the rest of the school year and next year!

excited students
Students love playing Brain Bounce for spiral math review.

One excellent game that encourages fluency is mentioned in another Edutopia article, 3 Math Games You Can Use in Class Today. The game is called “What Number Am I?” Here’s how you play:

What Number Am I?

Student A comes to the board and faces the class. The number 18 is written on the board. Student A calls on student B for a clue, and student B says, “You are the product of 3 and 6.” If student A knows this product, they can say, “I’m 18!” but if they are not sure, they can call on another student for a new clue.

To scale down the difficulty, you might tell students to only use addition and subtraction facts as clues and to emphasize words like sum and difference. You may want to focus on smaller numbers to write on the board.

To scale up the difficulty, you may give students larger numbers to work with, encourage the use of multiplication and division facts, or have students use square roots and exponents in their clues.

As a primary teacher, you will likely use only addition and subtraction, but you can also use greater than, less than, place value, etc.

This is an amazing way to combine multiple skills at one time into a critical thinking application scenario. You can assess using a tracking sheet. Take a look at how to collect observational data with our post Data Collection Strategies for Independent Learning.

Looking for Digital Spiral Math Review?

Try a few of our Boom cards for FREE!

Want to try a math game FREE in your classroom? CLICK HERE for one of our Scoot games to try!


Tune in next week for your end of the year literacy survival guide!

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