Math Wheels for Note-taking?

Math Games for Teachers: Activities for an Epic Start to the Year


Starting a new school year can be hard. You are building relationships with a new set of students while also working to gauge their current levels so you can best support them. Over the years, I’ve found an excellent way to do both – Math Games! Playing math games is a great way to ease students’ nerves, lay the foundation for a year of fun learning, and find out what your students have a solid understanding of, what they might need some review on, and what topics will need full instruction. I have sorted through some of my favorite math games for teachers and I’m excited to share them with you!

Incorporating these interactive activities into your plans creates a dynamic learning environment that sparks curiosity among your students. They offer numerous benefits, such as enhancing critical thinking skills, promoting collaboration, and reinforcing mathematical concepts in a hands-on way. So, let’s explore the importance of integrating math games and how they can impact your students’ engagement with mathematics.

Getting to Know All About You

Here’s the deal, math games for teachers aren’t just about teaching math. They’re also a sneaky way to get to know your middle school math students in a fun and interactive way. In my blog post “Getting to Know Your Middle School Math Students,”

I share examples of games that help middle schoolers let their guard down! By playing these math games, you can get a feel for how students think, solve problems, and work together. Plus, these games create a relaxed vibe where your students feel comfortable sharing their ideas and strategies. So, while you’re having a blast playing, you’re also laying the groundwork for a strong school year. Talk about a win-win situation, right?

Building in Movement

If you’ve been in a middle school classroom for more than 5 minutes, then you know just how important it is to build in some movement opportunities into your class period. Our middle school students are so energetic and just walking from class to class isn’t enough. By adding movement into your class activities you can help them engaged and focused on the task at hand.

Incorporating movement is easy with Footloose games. I have created lots of Footloose games because they work so well. You won’t have a problem finding a game or two that are perfect for reviewing skills from the previous grade level. Two of my favorites are Multiplication Facts 1 & 2 Footloose Math Game and the Division Facts 1 and 2 Footloose Math Game.

Why I Love Footloose Games

Use footloose math games for teachers like these to not only review important math facts but also get your kiddos up and moving this year.

In the Multiplication Footloose game, students move around the learning space solving multiplication problems on task cards. The game challenges their multiplication fluency and boosts their mental math abilities. There are two sets of 30 cards each that include practicing facts and solving multiplication word problems. The game is flexible, so you can make it more competitive by setting a timer or adding points to questions. This game creates an energetic and dynamic learning environment. Students build confidence and accuracy in their multiplication skills right from the start of the school year.

Similarly, the Division Footloose game engages students in solving division problems through task cards. There are also two sets of 30 cards to practice division facts and word problems. This game encourages critical thinking as students work through division equations and build their division proficiency. By providing a hands-on and interactive experience, students develop a deeper understanding of division concepts and strategies. Plus, the collaborative nature of Footloose games allows students to learn from each other, fostering teamwork and communication skills.

More Great Footloose Games

Whether you are looking for multiplication and division or absolute value, you can find a Footloose game for this in my TPT store. I have over 100 games for you to choose from. You are sure to find the perfect game for the beginning of the school year, including the FREE Back to School Footloose Activity!

Did Someone Say…BINGO?

Let’s talk about a math game that always stays in style: BINGO! It’s a winner when freshening up your back-to-school plans, especially for tackling algebraic equations. With this in mind, I created this awesome resource called Bingo: One-Step Algebraic Equations Activity. This is the perfect game to review one-step equations involving a mix of multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction equations.

Each student gets BINGO boards filled with algebraic equations. There are 11 different cards, so some of your students will have the same card if you want to play as a whole class. Alternatively, you can play this game in a small group setting. As you call out the answers to the equations, students search for and mark the corresponding equation on their boards. The excitement builds as they listen for the next number and aim to complete a row or column. You’ll literally have your kiddos coming out of their seats shouting BINGO! These are some of my favorite memories from teaching!

Some Tips for a Great Math Game

Before playing this game for the first time with your class, I have a few recommendations! Laminate the calling cards with the answers and the cards the students receive. This will help them survive repeated use and your kids’ competitiveness! I also recommend having your students solve each of the equations on their cards before starting. This will help the actual game go quicker. If you are playing whole class you can partner students up or make groups of 3 so to help eliminate students having the same card. With 24 problems on the card, there is plenty of practice even for a group of 2 or 3.

Your students will be actively engaged, thinking critically, and honing their math fluency. Plus, the friendly competition adds an extra dose of fun to the learning mix. Don’t be frightened off by some being “too cool” for the game. By the second or third round, suddenly, BINGO becomes the new cool status!

Math Card Games for Teachers

You don’t need to use the newest, fanciest item on the market to bring math to life. Simple card games can level up your math lessons during the back-to-school season. I created a resource called “Equivalent Fractions Cards for Fraction Games” to make a hands-on and collaborative game for my students!

Use this Go-Fish style math games for teachers activity to get your students excited about practicing important math facts.

With these fraction cards, you can make learning equivalent fractions a total blast. Imagine sorting cards, playing Go Fish, or battling during Fraction Wars with your students. They’ll be having a blast while mastering the concept of equivalent fractions.

In the sorting cards activities, students arrange the fraction cards into sets of equivalent fractions. It’s a puzzle that challenges their critical thinking skills and helps them see the connections between different fraction representations. It’s hands-on and mind-expanding all at once!

We can’t forget about Go Fish! This classic card game with a math twist has students collecting cards to complete their sets of equivalent fractions. It’s a friendly competition that sharpens fraction recognition skills and solidifies their understanding of equivalent fractions.

Wait…There’s More Math Games for Teachers!

I don’t know why – but that statement always makes me think of 1990s infomercials. And while those were a little questionable – I have more not-so-questionable math games for you. There are even MORE options to help you plan for the beginning of the year.

Check out all of the fun and exciting math games for teachers in the Cognitive Cardio Math blog posts!

In my “Engaging Middle School Games and Activities” post, I share more ideas to keep your students hooked on math. This blog post shares even more games to add to your collection, from interactive dice games to color-by-number activities. The best part? These games are designed for middle school students, ensuring the content aligns perfectly with their learning needs and interests.

So, don’t settle for the same old back to school routine. Explore the vibrant world of math games for teachers and inject some serious fun into your classroom. It really is the best way to get to know your students and their current levels at the beginning of the year.

Save for Later

Save this post to your favorite classroom or math Pinterest board so you can come back when you are ready to start planning your math activities for the beginning of the new year.


Welcome to Cognitive Cardio Math! I’m Ellie, a wife, mom, grandma, and dog ‘mom,’ and I’ve spent just about my whole life in school! With nearly 30 years in education, I’ve taught:

  • All subject areas in 4th and 5th grades
  • Math, ELA, and science in 6th grade (middle school)

I’ve been creating resources for teachers since 2012 and have worked in the elearning industry for about five years as well!

If you’re looking for ideas and resources to help you teach math (and a little ELA), I can help you out!



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