Importance of Play
The weather is changing, the holidays are coming, and students are getting fidgety. Fall is a common time for teachers as well as students to experience burnout. For teachers who are also teaching via Zoom, sitting and staring at a screen can be particularly exhausting. On Zoom, a teacher can’t give a slight head nod, thumbs up, or wink to a student to connect. Students may be having trouble connecting to one another this year too. Games are a great way to get moving, make connections, and sneak in some learning too.
No Prep Math Vocabulary Games
Here are some fun and easy games you can play with your students on Zoom and practice math vocabulary at the same time.
- Use the chat feature to type a vocabulary word to just one student. That student will act out the word while others guess using chat or a raised hand.
- The same idea as charades, but students will draw the word. Use can use physical whiteboards, or the annotate feature on Zoom. (Not all computers have this, so not sure this is worth mentioning.)
- Secret Word
- Use a breakout room to send one student “outside” then show or use the chat to share a secret word. Bring the student back from the breakout room. Call on students to give clues about the secret word until the first student can guess the word.
Math Skills Games
These games can easily be played with your whole class or in a small group to practice essential math skills. These are great no-prep activities that can easily be assigned to an aide or parent volunteer to help assist you in your virtual classroom too!
- Pixel Art
- Create fun artwork with your students! Use a pixel art project projected on your screen. Work through a series of problems together and watch a picture magically appear.
- Color by Number
- Printing coloring pages not an option? Now you can color online with your students using Google Forms. For each correct answer, squares will automatically be colored in.
- Matching Slides
- Two Truths and a Lie
- Show or tell 3 equations. Two are true and one is false. Students have to determine which is the lie. You can call on students or use the poll feature on Zoom to play Class vs. Teacher.
- Four Angles
- Played like Four Corners, but students make an acute, obtuse, right, or straight angle with their arms. One student closes their eyes and calls out an angle type. The students showing that angle are “out” until you have a winner.
Sometimes we just need to get up and move. These games are a great way to break up a longer Zoom session and get the wiggles out.
- Freeze Dance
- Play some music and dance! Freeze when the music stops.
- Simon Says
- Someone is “Simon” and tells others what to do, but they only do it if the person starts the directions with, “Simon says…” Anyone else is “out” until the next round.
- True or False
- Assign a different action to both true and false. For example, clapping = true and shoulder shrugs = false. Give students an equation and have them show the action for true or false.
- Counting Exercises
- Practice skip counting by different numbers while doing an exercise like jumping jacks, arm circles, stretches, marching, etc.