Fill the Stairs

Fill the Stairs requires the thoughtful placement of two-digit numbers in order from least to greatest, before all the numbers are known. Overall, it is a fun and compelling game that holds up after repeated playing.

Penny, Nickel, Dime

This version of Don’t Break the Bank is a hit with students, and also helps give a concrete meaning to place value by linking it to both money, addition, estimation, and multiplying by fives and tens. It takes very little time, so it can be used as a warmup, station activity, or in those five minutes before class ends. While …

Dots and Boxes

This classic game is great for strategy, mathematical thinking, and basic counting and addition.

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Magic Triangles

Topics: Addition, Subtraction, Logic Materials: Pencil and paper Recommended Grades: 1, 2, 3 Common Core: K.OA.A.2, K.OA.A.4, 1.OA.A.2, 1.OA.B.3, 1.OA.B.4, 1.OA.C.5,1.OA.C.6, 1.OA.D.8, 2.OA.B.2, MP1. Magic Triangles are a simple addition/missing addend problem that creates opportunities for higher level thinking. Kids must place the numbers 1 through 6 on the outside of a triangle to make the numbers on each side sum to …

Magic Squares

Topics: Addition, Subtraction, Logic Materials: Pencil and paper, Recommended Grades: 2, 3, 4 Common Core: Put the numbers 1-9 into a square so that every column, row, and diagonal adds to 15. Why We Love Magic Squares This is a truly historical problem, with roots in cultures around the world. The arithmetic looks fairly simple at first, but the problem …

The Hundred Chart Game

Topics: addition, subtraction, strategy Materials: Two types of tokens (gems & pawns), hundreds chart Recommended Grades: 1, 2, 3 Common Core: 1.NBT.C.4, 1.NBT.C.5, 1.NBT.C.6, C2.NBT.B.5 Add and subtract 10s and 1s to pick up the tokens on the hundreds chart. Why We Love The Hundred Chart Game This game delivers tons of addition and subtraction practice in a way kids love. …

Flower Petal Puzzles

Topics: addition, subtraction, logic Materials: Worksheets, pencil and scratch paper Recommended Grades: 1, 2, 3 Common Core: 1.OA.A.2, 1.OA.C.6, 1.OA.D.8, 2.OA.B.2, MP1, MP7 Put each number in a “petal” so each line of three numbers in a row has the same sum. Why We Love Flower Petal Puzzles This is a simple but thought-provoking puzzle. It’s a great way to …

Math for Love Math Circle Lessons

This is a collection of some of the games and activities that are ideal for running before and after school math circles. This particular book is designed for grades 2-3, though most of the activities would work for older or younger students. The math circles are about enrichment. Our goal is that students will leave them loving math more, and …

Dots and Boxes

  Topics: Logic, Counting, Shape Recognition, Strategy Materials: Dot Paper, pencils or crayons Recommended Grades: K-2 Common Core:K.CC.B.5, K.CC.C.6, K.G.B.5, 1.G.A.1, MP1 A game of squares and strategy that is easy to learn and hard to master. Why We Love Dots and Boxes This is a classic you may remember from childhood. The game is like a more sophisticated tic-tac-toe: fun and …

Sum – Memory

  Topics: Addition Materials: Cards Recommended grades: K, 1, 2, 3 Common Core: K.OA.A.2, K.OA.A.4, K.OA.A.5, 1.OA.C.6, 2.OA.B.2 Sum-Memory is Memory with a twist: instead of trying to capture identical pairs, players are trying to find pairs that add up to 5, 10, or another target number. Why we love Sum-Memory Sum-Memory is all the fun of memory, but with the …