# Math Games for 8th Graders: Practice Math Through Play

Does your 8th grader despise math? Help your child find the enjoyment in conquering math skills by including fun, hands-on activities that don't seem so much like work!

## A Glance at 8th Grade Math

In 8th grade math, your child will be further establishing his or her mathematical foundation before entering high school math classes. In geometry, students identify congruent figures that are rotations, reflections and translations of one another. It will be important for your child to realize that geometric figures can be congruent, even if they don't look exactly the same.

Your child will learn how to use similar triangles to discover that the slope, expressed as the variable 'm' in an equation, is the same between two points on a non-vertical line within the coordinate plane. Remember, slope can be thought of as rise over run, written as a fraction. Within the coordinate plane, the rise is the height of the triangle (or the number it rises, or goes up). The 'run' portion of the triangle's slope is the number that represents the width of the triangle's base.

Additionally, 8th graders learn that all numbers have an expanded decimal form. They also study irrational numbers, like pi and the square root of two.

### Are We Equal?

For this activity, draw a collection of differently sized triangles and place them in a bowl. Be sure to vary the type of triangles you draw. Ask your child to choose two triangles from the bowl and to determine if the shapes are congruent. This may require your child to consider reflections, rotations or translations of the figure.

Your child may also have to use his or her knowledge of how to calculate slope and how to measure interior angles to determine congruency. As stated previously, slope is calculated as the rise of the triangle over the run of the triangle. The rise will be the numerator of the fraction and the run will be the denominator. Have your 8th grader continue working with the triangles until he or she identifies all congruent figures.

### Square Root Match Up

Before beginning this activity, write a variety of square root problems and the correct answer for each problem on index cards. For instance, on one card you could write, 'square root of nine,' and on its matching card you would write, 'three.' Lay the answer cards out on the table, face side up. Place all of the square root cards in a stack for your child.

Have your child go through the stack of problem cards and correctly match up the square root to its solution. Feel free to allow your child to work out any necessary problems on scratch paper.

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