I absolutely love math centers.  If you’ve followed me for long, you already know that’s old news.  A few weeks ago, I created a Christmas “Scavenger Hunt” to review basic computation.  My students and I absolutely loved it, and it completely inspired a year round game to play in math centers.  So far, I’ve used this in three different ways in my classroom.

Whole Group Activity: I really love to use these cards as a whole group activity by hiding the cards around my classroom.  The students hunt the room to find the card that says START on the race car. Then, they solve the problem they see.  From there, they have to QUIETLY search the room to find a card with their answer.  When they find the answer, they’ll have a brand new problem to solve.  They’ll solve it, and hunt the room for the answer.  They repeat this process until one student reaches the end.

In my classroom, I offer prizes for the first three students to finish the race.  They all work quietly in order to not share where the cards are hidden.  I love that I can let my higher kids work alone, and I can hang around the first few cards to provide support for students who aren’t quite ready to complete the problems independently.

Small Groups or Centers: The second way to utilize these cards is for small groups, partners, or centers.  In this picture, there are two students racing one another through a set of multiplication problems.  Typically, I don’t have them work this closely, but for picture purposes, we moved the yellow partner over.

All of the students in the group begin by solving the first problem.  In order to win the race, all of their cards must be in the correct order, AND have all of their work shown on their recording sheet.

Individually: Students can also work on this activity independently to increase their fluency.  I have my students time themselves as they race through their problems.  They record their time on their recording sheet, and check their answers.  I have them do this several times throughout the week, and work to try to improve their time.

I have also set class or group goals to further encourage fluency.

We all know that our upper elementary kids STILL struggle to regroup!  Grab this freebie to introduce into your math centers.

I tell my kids that the best way to build confidence in multiplication is to practice it OFTEN!  Grab this freebie to help your kids practice in a fun way.

I currently have math races for addition, subtraction, multiplication, area, and perimeter, but I have a long list of future races!  Be sure to click the image above to check out what is currently available.