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Math Mania


  • Mathematics
    --Applied Math
    --Process Skills


  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

Adapt this active game for any math skill you are teaching!


Students will

  • work together in groups.
  • solve math problems accurately.


math, accuracy, speed, game, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, general, skill

Materials Needed

  • cards with math problems written on them, one card per student (All problems should relate to the same math skill.)

Lesson Plan

Before the Lesson
Before the lesson, prepare one index card for each student in the class. Write on each card a math problem that emphasizes the skill you wish to practice -- for example, addition of two digit numbers, simple word problems, long division, percents, averages, or any other skill. (This game can be adapted to almost any math skill.) Number the cards from 1 to __ (the number of students in the class). Create an answer key.

The Fun Begins!
Arrange students into groups of three to six -- each group should have the same number of students. (Groups of three might be better if you plan to use the game as a five-minute "time-filler" activity at the end of a class or if the math skill being practiced is a more complex one.) Have each students fold a sheet of math paper into squares and number the squares from 1 to __ (the number of students in the class).

Arrange students' desks into small circles and place one math problem face down on each desk. When students have pencils and math paper ready, indicate the start of the game by calling out "Go!" or ringing a bell. At the signal, students turn over the card in front of them, copy the problem in the appropriately numbered square on their paper, and solve the problem. When a student has finished solving a problem, s/he flips their card back into the facedown position, put down the pencil, and waits until all members of the group have solved their problems. When the last student in the group solves his/her problem, the students stand up, rotate clockwise to the next desk, and repeat the process. The game continue until all the students in each group have solved all their group's problems. Students who finish early can use the time to check their work.

The game is not necessarily over when one group finishes. The other groups still have a chance to win the game if any student in the groups that finished first recorded a wrong answer. (Speed counts, but accuracy is more important.) The group that finishes last could be the winning group if somebody in each of the other groups solved a problem incorrectly. If no group correctly solves all their problems, the group with the fewest errors wins.

If time remains, groups could collect the cards on their desks, pass them to another group, and start a new game.

The active movement of this game is part of the fun. If the game starts to get out of hand, make it a silent game. If a team member talks, disqualify that person and count all his/her answers as incorrect answers when counting each team's errors.


Students will accurately solve at least 80 percent of the problems.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

MATHEMATICS: Number and Operations
GRADES Pre-K - 2
NM-NUM.PK-2.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 3 - 5
NM-NUM.3-5.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 6 - 8
NM-NUM.6-8.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
GRADES 9 - 12
NM-NUM.9-12.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates

MATHEMATICS: Problem Solving
GRADES Pre-K - 12
NM-PROB.PK-12.2 Solve Problems That Arise in Mathematics and in Other Contexts
NM-PROB.PK-12.3 Apply and Adapt a Variety of Appropriate Strategies to Solve Problems

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Originally published 01/02/2003
Links last updated 08/20/2004