Classroom Games for 4th Grade Math: Tips for Teachers

Approaching learning as an interactive process can help you to produce a more enjoyable classroom environment for your students. As a teacher, you can use games to help your class achieve mastery of previously introduced concepts. Below is a brief collection of games that apply to the three main areas of focus in 4th grade math.

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4th Grade Math Overview

Students in 4th grade have three main focus areas in mathematics: fractions, multi-digit multiplication and calculating area. The mathematics games below require few supplies and will have your students actively learning math skills. For each game, there are variations provided to allow you to easily adapt the games to meet the needs of your students.

Can You Beat My Fraction?

This fraction comparison game, which allows two students to play against one another, only requires one deck of cards per group and one sheet of paper for each student in the group. Before play begins, you should remove all the face cards and aces from the deck.

Begin the game by shuffling the cards and dealing them evenly between the two players. Each student should draw a line across the middle of his or her paper. This line will represent the division line of a fraction. Students will begin play by drawing the top card from their individual deck. This number will be placed on top of the line as their numerator. The second card they draw from the deck will be the denominator of their fraction.

The student with the larger fraction will win all cards played in this round. The game keeps going until every card has been played as a fraction, with one student having a majority of the cards. This game requires students to have a solid understanding of numerators, denominators and how to accurately compare two fractions. Variations for this game could include having the smallest fraction win all of the cards for the round, letting students choose which card is their numerator and denominator and having the game focus on creating mixed numbers.

Check My Math

This game only requires a deck of cards and a calculator for checking. To begin, take all the face cards out of the deck and place students in small cooperative groups.

Students will create a 2-digit by 2-digit multiplication problem by drawing cards from the deck. For example, suppose the students draw a five and a two. They will use those numbers to create the first number in their problem - 52. Next, students will repeat the process by drawing another two cards (for instance, a six and a three), and use them to create a second number in their problem (63). Then the students will take those two numbers and create a multiplication problem (52 x 63), which they will then solve.

The students should check their answers using calculators. Each student receives one point per correct answer. Variations for this game could include creating larger numbers to multiply or requiring students to check each other's multiplication work by hand instead of using calculators.

Shape Your Math

In this game, students can explore possible triangle characteristics using measurement rods. Feel free to either have students work in pairs or larger groups for this game.

Have each student take five measurement rods. Using three of these rods, students need to create a triangle. Once the students have created their triangle, you can require them to identify the type of triangle they made, along with the side lengths and types of angles within the triangle. Students will receive one point per correct identification, which will allow your students to practice correct vocabulary usage.

To keep the game interesting, occasionally allow students to trade measurement rods with a neighbor. To take this activity even further, ask your students to create a particular kind of triangle.

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