Introducing games to your math lessons can be the difference between merely going through the motions and getting every child to love and learn math. Innovative teachers try to improve their processes, and if you are in charge of a first-grade class, you should know the importance of using creative teaching methods. So this article will analyze how and why you need first grade math games and suggest free ones to get you started.
Types of Math 1st Graders Should Know
Before choosing math games for 1st graders, you need to know the common math skills you want to improve. Today, first-graders learn classification and estimation, numbers and counting, addition and subtraction, and the concept of time. These concepts help them interact and are challenging enough to hone their problem-solving abilities.
Classification and estimation
First graders learn to group familiar shapes and objects by their standard features. Because these kids are still learning their environment, they often notice features like size, corners (or sides), and color first. They also know how to estimate the results of addition and subtraction problems and then crosscheck their guesses by the accurate answers. That is why the math games 1st grade students need typically have sections on classification.
Numbers and counting
Continuing from what they learned in preschool, kids meet more advanced counting problems in first grade. They learn to count in sets and write up to three-digit numbers. Later, with examples and images, these students begin understanding simple fractions.
Addition and subtraction
First graders move past the basic 1+1=2 and add three single-digit numbers (1+2+3=6). They begin differentiating between the different math symbols and understanding how they influence numbers. Math games for 1st graders help them solve addition and subtraction problems in story form.
The concept of time
Kids begin to learn to tell time using analog clocks by the first grade. Online math games for 1st graders encourage this by including time-based challenges. And in school, tutors teach the children to tell the hour, minute, and second hands apart and the link between time and events.
Ideas to Make Learning Math Fun for first graders
Though many adults say they don’t like math, kids rarely have biases. There are stages in life with limitless potentials, so they can learn to love math if they think it’s fun. So if you want to avoid delivering boring math lessons to first graders, try the following ideas:
Use picture books
First graders associate abstract concepts like numbers with tangible objects and pictures they can see. So, getting a picture book with addition and subtraction stories will help your students be more excited to learn math. You can find books on numbers, measurements, and counting on sites for online math games for 1st grade and in bookstores.
Play fun math games for 1st graders
There aren’t too many things children love as much as playing. And that is why games are so effective in helping them understand math concepts and solve problems. So, introduce at least two new math games for grade 1 students every session and watch your math classes become more exciting than you ever expected.
Teaching children any concept once isn’t enough for them to learn it. The best way to ensure that your students recall your math lessons is by adding engaging routines. Try dramatized math concepts, group learning sessions, or healthy competitions. But whichever exercises you use, always make it about the children.
Do Online Math Games for First Grade Students Help Them Love Math?
With all the hype around math games for 1st grade students, you deserve to know if you are about to invest your resources into something worthwhile. Yes, you can get your students to love math without downloading math games for 1st graders free. But elementary students love exciting activities, and in a technology-driven world, your job as a teacher will be a lot easier with a couple of those games.
Most math game makers have researched the behaviors of preschool and elementary kids, using the results to influence their games. Games like Subtraction Pics and Bing Bing Bong use psychological tactics to keep first graders coming back for more. They use colorful interfaces, crisp moving images, exciting animations, and engaging levels to keep children hooked. And since moving elements attract kids, blending them with math lessons ensures that the students enjoy learning math as a byproduct of having fun with their mobile games.
Why Should I use Math Games for First Graders to Improve My Students’ Math Skills?
The different strategies of teaching math to first graders target the children’s learning patterns differently, but math games are unique for their ability to teach students concepts beyond math. The following reasons highlight the importance of math games for teaching first graders:
Math games help children visualize abstract concepts
Children find numerical concepts challenging without any form of visual aid. Free math games for 1st graders bridge this gap between what students hear and what they see and touch. The game makers use pictures of items that the kids can see in their everyday life and tactile feedback to help the students visualize abstract concepts like time and multiplication.
Games boost kids’ motivation to learn
Math games leverage children’s playful nature to create fun experiences that teach math concepts. Even the most reluctant child will feel more motivated to learn math if they will get to play while at it. And that is why you will frequently see your students volunteering to play math games and learn while at it.
The difficulty levels encourage inclusive learning
Free math games for 1st grade let students learn at different paces, which is tough to manage with traditional teaching methods, especially since teachers follow preset curricula. Games have difficulty levels, and you can have your first graders start from the simpler stages and level up at their own pace.
Math games encourage independence
Children internalize the lessons they learn in math class by practicing. But instead of giving them homework (which most students hate anyway), you should encourage them to play math games. These games keep the kids hooked and ensure they don’t need coercion or supervision to play and learn math concepts, even after classes.
Which Skills Will Math Games for First Graders Improve?
Knowing the skills that math games improve will help you choose the appropriate ones for your students. Though developers create these math games for first graders, they also make you work efficiently. And the best ones improve multiple skills simultaneously.
Pattern and shape recognition
First-grade math involves pattern and shape recognition, and online games help children identify and remember shapes and dimensions. They also teach students simple patterns and graphs.
Math games teach first-graders to measure and scale things. Familiar games use ideas like containers filled with water to different levels to teach kids measurement. Others teach them the concept of weight using pictures of animals and household items.
Estimation and relativity
Math games that encourage students to make educated guesses improve their estimation skills. For example, a game can show kids a bag of oranges and the size of an orange, encouraging them to guess how many oranges can fit in the bag. This tactic also improves their concept of relativity.
Playing math games builds better hand-eye coordination in first-graders. Since the kids will swipe, click, and select items on their device screens, they will subconsciously learn to synchronize their hand-and-eye movement.
Recommend any math game 1st grade students would love
Math games will help your students enjoy math lessons and develop the zeal to learn more. But if you check online, you’ll see countless games, which can make your selection process stressful. Check out the following games if you are interested in creating value for your students:
2D and 3D Shape Sort: Factory
This game will help your first graders identify and remember flat and three-dimensional shapes. It encourages them to help Muggo, the in-game character, to sort shapes into boxes. Playing this game will help your students exercise their knowledge of geometry.
Fish Bowl Addition
Fish Bowl Addition provides you with one of the most exciting ways to teach first graders to add. This game is interactive and uses animated moving fish to keep children hooked. First graders learn addition by moving the fish across bowls and summing them up.
Clock Match: Time to Half-Hour
If you want to teach a class of first graders to tell time, you should download this clock game. It makes students match analog clocks to their corresponding digital versions. So for lessons intended to teach children to tell time to the half-hour, clock games like these will come in handy.
Teaching first graders math can be simpler than it currently is for you. If you didn’t know about math games for first graders, this article provides a wholesome introduction to these handy apps. They will help your students understand abstract concepts, sharpen their math skills, and actually enjoy learning. So feel free to download any of the recommended math games to give your students a new, exciting learning experience.