As math teachers, we know the challenges that come with teaching fractions. It can often feel like an uphill battle to engage our students and make these critical mathematical concepts fun and interactive. That’s why I’m excited to share with you a fantastic back to school game that brings fractions to life: ‘Examine Me.’ It’s an interactive, dynamic tool that enables students to practice adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions in a fun, personal, and exciting way.
The All About Me Math Game
‘Examine Me’ is not your typical math game. It’s an ‘All About Me’ game that allows students to practice their fraction skills while also sharing facts about themselves. This personal element makes the game even more engaging and interesting to students, particularly when they are just getting back to school and are keen to know more about their classmates.
The primary objective of ‘Examine Me’ aligns with the Common Core State Standard (CCSS) [7.NS.A.3]: “Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving the four operations with rational numbers.” In this back to school game, students achieve this by incorporating facts about themselves into mathematical sentences. This innovative approach not only fosters mathematical proficiency but also encourages students to share about themselves and learn about others. It’s the perfect way to kickstart the new school year, making math fun, personal, and engaging right from the start.
The materials needed for ‘Examine Me’ are simple and cost-effective, requiring only the ‘Examine Me’ game board and a prepared list of facts for each player. You can design and print these game boards yourself, customizing them to fit your class’s needs and preferences. Additionally, the game supports a minimum of two players and works well in both small group settings or as a whole-class activity.
The rules of ‘Examine Me’ are straightforward, making the game easy to implement and adaptable to different learning styles. Each player receives their game board and a list of facts about themselves. The facts range from age and grade level to favorite number and the number of siblings. These facts offer numerous opportunities to create unique mathematical sentences involving fractions.
Game Play and Instructions
With their game boards and facts list, players form a circle. Then, they begin creating mathematical sentences involving fractions, drawing from their personal facts. The goal is for the solution to these mathematical sentences to match the answer to the listed facts. This process requires players to employ their knowledge of fractions and operations, allowing for ample practice and reinforcement.
Once all players have written their mathematical sentences, they exchange game boards with the person on their right. The new task is to solve the mathematical sentences on their opponent’s board. After completing this task, the player interviews the owner of the worksheet, asking the answers to each fact. If the player’s answer and the worksheet owner’s answer align, the player earns a point. If the answers differ, the teacher steps in to verify the correctness of the sentence and the solution.
This game play scenario is a clever way of making fraction practice fun and engaging. It’s not just about getting the right answer—it’s also about learning more about your classmates in the process. With the right mix of fun and competition, students might even forget they are learning!
Accommodations and Modifications
While ‘Examine Me’ is designed to make learning fractions enjoyable and engaging, we understand that students learn at different paces and in different ways. Therefore, it is vital to make accommodations and modifications as needed to ensure that all learners can access the material.
For students who need more support, consider simplifying the mathematical sentences they are tasked with creating. You can focus on addition and subtraction of fractions first before moving on to multiplication and division. Alternatively, allow these students to work with a partner who can provide additional support.
For advanced learners, you could raise the challenge by asking them to create more complex mathematical sentences. Perhaps they could incorporate mixed numbers or use multiple operations in a single sentence.
Examples of Gameplay
Let’s walk through an example of the game play to see how ‘Examine Me’ works in action.
Assume Player 1 chooses the following facts: “I am 12 years old” and “I have 2 siblings.” They then create two mathematical sentences: “3/4 of 16” and “2/3 multiplied by 3.” The answers to these equations (12 and 2, respectively) align with their personal facts.
They then exchange their worksheet with Player 2. If Player 2 correctly solves the mathematical sentences and verifies them with Player 1, they would earn two points. However, if they made a mistake, or if Player 1’s mathematical sentence was incorrect, a point would be deducted as per the game rules.
A Winning Experience
After all players have had a chance to solve and verify the mathematical sentences, the player with the most points wins. But in ‘Examine Me,’ everyone gains. Through the guise of a fun and interactive game, students engage deeply with fractions, honing their mathematical skills and understanding.
‘Examine Me’ aligns perfectly with [7.NS.A.3], which states that students should be able to “solve real-world and mathematical problems involving the four operations with rational numbers.” By using personal facts, the game creates a real-world connection to abstract fraction problems, thereby grounding the math in the students’ everyday lives.
The Perfect Back to School Game
One of the best things about ‘Examine Me’ is how well it fits into the back to school season. As students return from their summer break, this game offers an excellent opportunity for them to refresh their math skills, reacquaint with old friends and get to know new classmates. It sets a positive tone for the school year, showing students that math can be fun, relevant, and social.
In essence, ‘Examine Me’ is more than a back to school game. It’s a way to build community, promote learning, and ignite excitement about math. It brings an ‘All About Me’ theme to fraction practice, enabling students to share interesting facts about themselves while solving real-world mathematical problems. So why wait? This back to school season, make math fun, personal, and meaningful with ‘Examine Me’!
Remember, the primary goal of ‘Examine Me’ isn’t just about winning—it’s about encouraging students to actively engage with fractions in a meaningful and enjoyable way. And who knows? This game might just turn the uphill battle of teaching fractions into a thrilling journey of discovery and learning!
So, why wait? Make learning fractions a fun and personal experience for your students with ‘Examine Me.’ Encourage them to examine themselves, examine fractions, and while they’re at it, examine the joy of learning mathematics.
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