This week, as part of ISZL's in-service days, all Primary School teaching staff, including specialists and teaching assistants, took part in two professional development sessions concerning the use of games in Mathematics.
Why play games in Mathematics?
Games are fun! We all like to play and playing with numbers is something that we give priority to because it builds confidence and competence with specific skills, such as counting, using knowledge of number bonds to aid calculation, developing fluency with multiplication facts and related facts. An important component of learning Mathematics, from Early Years through to High School, games:
- develop strategic thinking;
- engage students;
- reinforce skills and deepen understanding;
- provide contexts for the application of Maths skills and knowledge;
- provide excellent observational assessment opportunities for teachers;
- develop fluency without fear;
- develop communication and social skills - being a graceful winner or loser;
- are adaptable for a wide range of learners.
As a result of this professional development, we will aim to provide repeated opportunities for students to play games that allow key mathematical ideas to emerge as students notice new patterns, relationships and strategies. Well-designed games are not just ends in themselves, they can be engaging and motivating vehicles for deep mathematical inquiry.
Here is an example of a challenging game, designed for Grade 4 and 5 that leads to generalizing about rectangles, perimeter and area: The Rectangle Game.
- Grade 4
- Grade 5
- Primary School