My 7th grade students are at a crucial point in their life in regards to learning math. They are branching out into the more complex or abstract concepts in math. They are also are building a foundation of skills and courage that will either enable them or hinder them in their future studies. In our classroom we celebrate mistakes as a powerful road to learning and students work together to develop a deeper understanding of the concepts and become life-long learners.
Math can be fun! My plan is to have math stations working on a rotation during block scheduling. While one group receives direct instruction, other groups will be practicing math and playing math games that reinforce math concepts and skills. For example we can use a deck of cards to practice positive and negative integers. The reds can be negatives and the blacks can be positives. The students can practice the integer rules and compete to see who can give the answer the fastest. They will play similar to war, but when they lay the cards down they will need to say the sum or difference. I can tell them which rule they are working with.
If each day includes math games, my hope is twofold.
Students that are not in the group receiving direct instruction will remain engaged in their task and my struggling math students will come to enjoy math. I've already researched games that are simple and easy to create using just strategy games and cards. However, there are other math games and manipulative that would bring a variety to our math stations so that my students have choices in practicing math concepts.
Dominos will help them with their basic math skills as well as teach them strategy. Uno can be change where students can work on their simple multiplication skills. Many of my students are still working to memorize their multiplication tables. Once they do this, they will see how easy math will become for them.
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