Are you tired of hearing your tween students groan and cringe at the mere mention of math? Do they start protesting every time you even mention games? Well, fear not, because in today's blog post, we've got the perfect solution to make finding classroom math games for 6th graders a breeze! Say goodbye to the days of math-induced dread and hello to a world of exciting math games that will not only sharpen their mathematical skills but also have them eagerly asking for more. Whether it's geometry, decimals, or GCF, we've rounded up a collection of classroom math games for 6th graders that will captivate and challenge older kids, transforming their perception of classroom math games from dull to downright delightful…okay, tolerable, and mostly enjoyable (because #tweensbetweening).
Classroom Math Games for 6th Graders: The One They'll Pretend to Hate
This one is a true classic and one I admittedly still get a rush playing. There are variations of this game, but here's the simple gist. You assign 4 areas of the classroom as Corner 1, Corner 2, etc. I usually hang a piece of paper in each corner to label them. Then, I will get my 4 Corners Bag with papers labeled 1-4. Students choose a corner and stand in it. I pick a number out of the bag and students standing in that corner are out and must return to their seats. Repeat this process until the last one standing is the winner. (Option: You can close your eyes and say a corner instead of choosing a paper from the bag).
How to make this a learning game: Let's say you are learning about fractions and decimal conversions. Assign each corner a decimal value instead of a number. Each card inside the bag will then be a fraction that converts to one of those decimal values. When you call out the fraction, students must determine using mental math (or a whiteboard) if the corner they are in is the decimal conversion or not. Some math concepts work well with 4 corners and others are a bit trickier so this game depends on the concept at hand.
Classroom Math Games for 6th Graders: The One That Will Fire Them Up
Given a stack of cards with various numbers/fractions/decimals/etc. on them, students must describe what's on the card to the guesser on their team. The catch is, you aren't allowed to say any of the numbers on the card while you're describing it. For example, if the card is 58%, a clue you might give is “the equivalent of 116/200.” To add some tension, set a timer for 30 or 60 seconds; split your class into 3-4 teams and watch the chaos unfold.
Classroom Math Games for 6th Graders: The One to Review Before a Test
I'm not playing favorites, but if I were, this would be mine. Knockout is truly fun to play any time of year but is exceptionally good for review and test prep because it really amps up the fun and minimizes the dullness of reviewing. You can read about the rules of Knockout in depth here, but in a nutshell, you split your class into 2 lines facing the whiteboard. Each slide is split into 2 sides and the player at the front of each line tries to call out the correct answer to their side first. For example, the student on Team 1 might see 82×5 and the student on Team 2 might see 78×3; the teacher possesses the answer key, and the student who calls it out correctly first stays in the game while the other player is out. Play continues until one team has no players left standing. The game gets really fun with slides like Knockout (you leave the game automatically), Free Pass (stay in without having to answer!), and more.
The cool thing is that I have NEVER offered Knockout for 6th grade — until now. In my TPT shop, I now have an entire collection of 6th grade Knockout games, ranging from Rational Numbers to Decimal Operations. You can check out the entire collection here. I've also written a product spotlight post where you can take a walk through the resource from start to finish here.
Classroom Math Games for 6th Graders – The One to Do With A Few Minutes to Kill
Give students a set of four numbers, and challenge them to use those numbers with addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division to reach the target number of 24. Easy peasy! You could obviously do this with other numbers too.
In the world of education, finding ways to make learning engaging for older kids can be a challenge. However, as we've explored in this blog post, it's not impossible. These classroom games may have elicited a groan or two at the start, but they are undeniably effective in turning the tide of math-induced dread. From “4 Corners” challenging their mental math skills to the exciting review sessions of “Knockout,” these games prove that learning can be both fun and educational. As educators, let's embrace these games as powerful tools to transform learning into a thrilling adventure, ensuring that our older kids leave the classroom not only more knowledgeable but with a smile on their faces and a newfound enthusiasm for learning. After all, who said education can't be a little fun along the way?