The beauty of playing games in math is that everyone loves to play them. When students get to play games over and over, they begin to think critically about strategies that help them win. And when those strategies involve mathematical computations, it is win-win for both students and teachers. My students always enjoyed Math Workshop when I included a regular rotation of their favorite math games.
One of the games I frequently used was Four in a Row. It's an old favorite of mine and one that my students really enjoyed playing. I created a Four in a Row game package that includes a set of 10 different gameboards. They focus on number recognition, counting up, counting down, skip counting, and addition & subtraction. They provide great practice for students and only require a couple of dot cubes and some counters (aka: dice & chips).
These games are super easy to make, manage, and store. You simply print and laminate them and they are ready to use! You can find them here for just $2.00 for all 10 gameboards! If you want to try a few of these games out before you buy, you can download a free preview which includes three games to get you started.
If you do not regularly include games as part of your math curriculum, you should give them a try. You will be amazed at the student gains. In fact, you are likely to see greater enthusiasm for math (which is always good) and fewer behavioral problems during small group time (which is also always good)! Thanks for reading along and keep on teaching the math!