Saturday, 18 May 2013

Bingo in the classroom

Maths Games - and now for something completely different

It is always a struggle to find innovative or new ways to practise multiplication tables. I know there are plenty of computer games but it is not always possible to get organise and sometimes you may just want a brief recap before tackling something else

Kids love playing games, even maths games, and this activity has endless variations on the game of bingo, the only limit is your imagination. It can be used to reinforce a previous lesson, warm up the class before a new lesson or just bit of fun if the lesson is flagging or boredom and irritability sets in on a wet Friday afternoon.


Click on the link below for a great source of ideas for starter lessons '101 red hot starters', take a look. This book will give you a source of ideas for years to come; a snappy start to any lesson. As one reviewer said,

 'This book is an excellent start for developing your own collection of maths starters.'

Virtually no preparation is required to start using this in the classroom. It can be bought for as little as 1p from Amazon - if that is not a bargain I don't know what is.

Maths starters


Step 1


I would ask the pupils to draw a grid in the back of their books 4 x 4, leaving a lot of space in each cell. Looking at multiplication tables I would ask them to fill in numbers bewteen say 10 and 40 it is their choice. No repeats allowed. Alternatively for example, we were practising identifying different types of triangles I would ask them for the names of the triangles and get them to recall their properties. So in random cells they would write I (Isosceles), E (Equilateral), S (scalene).


Step2


I would then tell them we are playing times table bingo or shape bingo, the winner is the one who has a complete line or get a full house, whatever suits your purpose. Ask a multiplication question or  read out a description of the triangle in question, for example, ‘two equal sides and the base angles are equal’ or you could show them a picture of the triangle. They have to cross out the answer or what they think is the name of the triangle. Keep a record of what you have done.




I found it best to have 6 cards with either the description or picture on, I would shuffle the cards and use them to pick the question. Once all six have been used reshuffle and start again until a winner has been found.

This is so popular that often I have walked into a classroom and they have asked for this as a starter, not often do you get kids begging for Maths questions. Just like Oliver Twist 'More please Sir'