I remember when I was a little girl in school, I loved to play bingo in the classroom. I can’t remember how we played it, but I do remember it was a recreational activity whenever we had to stay inside for recess due to inclimate weather. The game boards were already pre-printed and each kid got a different board. The teacher would call out a number and if we had it, we would cover that number on our board. I don’t need to tell you that once a kid had five numbers in a row, column, or diagonal covered, they would yell out, “B I N G O !” That was so much fun!
As a teacher, I enjoy bringing that type of fun into my classroom coupled with a learning activity. With games, students have extra opportunities to develop the math skill they’re learning. Additionally, games give students practice in developing strategies to play, which strengthens their critical thinking skills. Lastly, games allow students to be competitive while collaborative. So, I want to share with you three fun ways that I use a bingo game board in my math classes that I want to share with you:
- Math Facts BINGO. Give every student a blank game board. Tell them the criterion for filling in their squares. For example, students can randomly write multiples of 5 less than 150 on their boards. Then, you can call out multiplication facts with 5 as a factor (i.e. 5×14, 5×21, 18×5). Students will cross out the product of the multiplication fact if it’s on their board. Continue to call facts until you have a winner.
- Math Problems BINGO. Given a particular skill or topic, have students submit one problem along with its answer. For example, if students are learning to add decimals, then they could write “6.5 + 14.009 =” on the front of a card and write “20.509” on the back of the card. Enter students’ problems on an online bingo board generator (I use My Free Bingo Cards.) to create a class set of unique boards. Use students’ cards to read aloud answers for students to cross out until there is a winner.
- BINGO Scavenger Hunt. You can write problems on a game board that are related to the skill you are covering. You can get these problems from a worksheet or textbook. For NWEA test prep, you can use one of my Daily Math Practice Bundles. Give each student the same copy of the game board. Students will walk around the classroom to hunt for other students who know the answers to the problems on the board. Their classmate will solve a problem on their board while they do the same with their classmate’s board. Students will write the answer along with their initials on that square. Students cannot solve more than one problem on another classmate’s board.