Published in Oak Hill Blog

November 15, 2018

WE’RE HAVING FUN IN MATH CLASS!

~Mrs. Rita Cotterell, Upper School Math Teacher

Did you ever expect to read “fun” and “math” in the same sentence? Do you remember sitting in math class watching the clock waiting for the class to end? Is doing math homework for both you and your child the most dreaded time of the day?

The ultimate compliment for me is when my students are sorry to see that class ended.

So, what is the secret?  Games!

Game playing is a very natural way for students to reinforce a concept they are learning in class.  The games can be computer-based, but many of the games my students play during class are not.

This week alone, we played two games in my 5th grade class and two games in my pre-algebra class.

My 5th grade students at Oak Hill Academy, a private school located in Monmouth County, New Jersey were learning exponents.  Once I was satisfied that they understood the fundamentals, I took out a very soft ball. We played a little game of catch.  I called out an exponent question and whoever caught the ball had to answer it. If the student gave an incorrect answer, he or she sat.  

The second game was an easy to make Bingo board of exponent questions.  As I called a power, the students had to see if their board had the question and if so, they had to solve it.  The first person who got four powers in a row on their board received a sticker of their choice. The kids loved it and asked if they could play it again!

Pre-algebra class

My pre-algebra class is working with signed numbers.  The first game we played was a simple game of war with the underlying math concept of comparing positive and negative numbers.  The black cards represented positive numbers and the red cards represented negative numbers. The math game followed the usual rules of war; whomever had the card with the greater value won the pair.  

We played a second game also using a standard deck of cards to practice adding signed numbers.  Each student placed a card from their hand on the desk, the first person to add the cards correctly won the pair.  The students love this game and always ask to play again.

Using dice for multiplication tables

If your child is having trouble with their multiplication tables, consider getting four standard playing dice. Roll two at the same time to get one factor and roll the other two dice to get the second factor.  See how many times in a row they can get the correct answer.

If your child is having difficulty rounding decimals, you may want to consider giving him your sales receipt from the grocery store without the total on it to see how close your child comes to it.  

There are so many easy ways to create mini math reviews.

So, yes, we are having fun in math class; we are building the necessary foundation and mastering skills which is why I believe our math program makes Oak Hill Academy the best private school in Monmouth County, NJ.

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Article By Oak Hill Academy
Oak Hill Academy is a Monmouth County NJ private school that is co-educational, independent, nonsectarian, and nonprofit for grades per-kindergarten through eight.

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