Each year, I hear teachers say that their students come unprepared with little to no knowledge of their facts. Well, like any other skill, we have to provide students with authentic opportunities to practice their facts and apply them in new and interesting situations. Today’s post does just that! I’m sharing two of my favorite computational fluency games to challenge and engage your students.
What is Computational Fluency
Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (2000) define computational fluency as, “having efficient and accurate methods for computing” (p. 152). They go on to say that “students exhibit computational fluency when they demonstrate flexibility in the computational methods they choose, understand and can explain these methods, and produce accurate answers efficiently” (p. 152).
So what does this mean? “The computational methods that a student uses should be based on mathematical ideas that the student understands well, including the structure of the base-ten number system, properties of multiplication and division, and number relationships” (Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, p. 152).
Using games to practice these skills allows students to develop their skills in an authentic way. Ready to learn more? Then read on for more about how to use Moggle and Salute in the classroom.
Computational Fluency Games
This activity is a spin-off of the traditional Boggle game except with numbers. Here’s how to play: 1.) Present students with grids of different sizes. 2.) Then have students search for number sentences within the grid. 3.) Points are then awarded based on the complexity of the number sentences.
The best aspect of this activity is that it is automatically tailored to fit the needs of any students. They decide how many numbers to include in their sentence and which operations to use.
Ready to play? Read more about playing Moggle here.
Ready for a class break? Salute is a fast-paced game where students use playing cards (or numbers written on index cards) to create equations. Here’s how to play: 1.) Call two students up to the front of the classroom and then hand them each a playing card. 2.) Without looking at their card, have students place the card on their foreheads. 3) Give students the sum, or product, of their cards. 4.) Yell “salute!” 5.) Students then turn to face each other and try to guess the number on their forehead based on the sum or product given and the other student’s card value.
Ready to play? Read more about playing Salute here!
Sound Off! What are your favorite go-to computational fluency games? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Reference: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Reston, VA: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.