This activity can be tried during your Maths / Numeracy lessons or at spare moments during the day when you feel that the children could practice their mental arithmetic.
- Ensure that the class is sitting down in their places.
- Choose one child to start the game (Child A). This child should get up and stand behind the child who sits next to them (Child B).
- The teacher now asks a question which only Child A and Child B are allowed to answer. They should try to answer as quickly as possible in order to beat each other. If either of them gets the answer wrong, they are allowed to answer again until one of them gives the correct answer.
- If Child A answers correctly, he / she continues to stand and moves to the next person (Child C). Another question is then asked to Child A and Child C.
- If Child B answers correctly however, he / she gets up and stands behind the next person. Child A sits down. Another question is then asked to Child B and Child C.
- You can continue asking questions for as long as you wish and can even alter the level of difficulty of the questions to fit the children’s ability. You can also ask questions based on a variety of topics (e.g. multiplication tables, number bonds).
A similar alternative to this game was contributed by Susan Aucoin:
The Game of Travel:
To increase my students’ knowledge of Maths facts, I play this game with my students.
Materials – flashcards of Math facts (e.g. addition, subtraction, multiplication or division)
I start on one side of the classroom. The first student on the first row stands up next to the second person. I flash the card and the student who correctly answers first stands next to the following student on the row. The student who did not answer correctly or wasn’t fast enough with the correct answer sits down in the desk of the student which he/she just competed with. We play for 15 minutes or so. The person who travelled around the classroom the most is the winner.