Finger Math – A Fun Way to Practice Math Facts

August 26, 2007 at 8:53 pm | Posted in differentiated instruction, elementary, math, second grade, strategies, third grade | 1 Comment

For the last two weeks, my students have been having fun learning math in non-textbook ways.  One game that we have been using on a daily basis for about five minutes each day is “Finger Math”.  It quickly gives students practice adding and subtracting in a fun atmosphere, with manipulative support.  This activity is easily differentiated and appropriate for first graders, second graders, third, fourth, and so on!

Directions:

  • Have two students face each other.
  • Each student choose a number from 1-10.
  • When students are ready, they show their number using their fingers.
  • Have students quickly add all fingers shown from both students and say the answer.
  • The student with the correct answer wins a point.  Have students check by counting all fingers.
  • Play continues until one student wins.  In my class, that’s five points to win.

Variations:

  • Subtract the student with the least fingers from the student with the most finger.
  • Play with one hand instead of two hands (meaning 1-5 instead of 1-10) for students who aren’t ready to add the higher numbers.  Differentiated instruction.
  • For more difficult problems, have three or four students play against each other.  This is also an excellent scaffold for adding three addends.
  • After each play, have students write the corresponding number sentence in their math journal.
  • Instead of adding or subtracting, have students multiply.
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1 Comment »

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  1. Oh, I think this sounds like wonderful fun! In my third-grade class, we have spelling bee every week, and give a chip (usually Pringles)for each correctly spelled word.

    Eileen
    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas
    elementaryteacher.wordpress.com


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