Instructor: Shelby Golden
Learn about games you can use in your classroom to help keep 8th graders interested in mathematics. These games can make learning arithmetic skills fun for your students.

Why Use Math Games?

Sometimes getting your students through the steps required to solve equations or word problems can feel like one big grind. Games give your students a chance to have some fun while they practice their math skills and create a more relaxed environment for learning. Keep reading to get some ideas for games you can integrate into your classroom.

Geometry Jeopardy

Use this game to quiz your students' knowledge of geometric shapes and theorems. To play, you'll need to decide on team size and come up with answers that define geometric terms, shape properties or even congruence theorems. You can set up the board by writing the answers on note cards and taping them to a wall or white board. Assigning different point values to the answers can keep the game competitive, and the team aspect can get your students to work together.

Before you quiz your students' geometry knowledge, have them check out these lessons on lines and angles, triangles, quadrilaterals and circles for a quick review of shape properties. You'll also find lessons on triangle theorems and proofs.

Graphing Crossword Puzzles

You can design crossword puzzles to test your students on the mathematical terms they should be familiar with in order to solve and graph linear equations and functions. Depending on the amount of time you have, you can make large puzzles or several smaller puzzles that contain the definitions as clues. All you need to play this game is the crossword puzzles themselves.

Reviewing these lessons on linear equations and functions can introduce your students to the key terms found in the puzzles.

Algebra Tic-Tac-Toe

Prepare for this game by setting up tic-tac-toe boards with algebraic equations in each space. Students play in pairs and must solve the equation before they can place an X or an O in the empty space. You can help your students get ready for this activity by watching these lessons on basic algebraic expressions and algebraic distribution.

Toss the Ball

All you need to make this game work is some kind of ball to toss to students and a series of questions written on the whiteboard. The student who catches the ball must answer one of the questions. After a student provides you with the correct answer, she or he tosses the ball to a new student who repeats this process.

You could use this game to help students work through the steps involved in solving word problems, which are discussed in these lessons, or get extra practice applying the problem-solving strategies outlined in these lessons on decimals, fractions, rational expressions, radical expressions and exponents.

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