4 Effective Games for Middle School Math Workshop

Those of you that have implemented math workshop in your classroom know the importance of having engaging, easy prep, centers for your students. Math games are an integral part of my classroom and are an important part of creating a "math is fun" attitude in my students. If they are reusable activities... even better! I have found math games to be an effective way to keep students motivated. In this post, I will share the four games that I have found to be the most engaging!

(1) The Product Game
https://illuminations.nctm.org/lesson.aspx?id=5729Talk about a strategy game! The Product Game is such a fun way to get students thinking ahead while also practicing their basic facts. The goal of the game is to get four in a row. Students determine which number they cover up on the number grid by multiplying the two numbers that are covered on the bottom of the board. A more detailed explanation of the rules is at the link above. I have played this as a class vs. teacher game as well as a partner game during math workshop! This has been a go-to game for my math centers. I usually introduce it early on and then come back to it again towards the end of the school year.

(2) The Factor Game
This is another great strategy game. If you are working on finding the different factors of a number, The Factor Game is perfect for practice. Players take turns circling a number on the game board. For each number circled, the other player gets to circle all of the factors of that number. At the end, students add up their circled numbers to determine the winner!


(3) Connect Four Games
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Connect-Four-Full-Year-Bundle-6th-Grade-Math-1958232Of all of the games I have created, these games are probably the most engaging and versatile. I use these as small group math centers, as a whole class game, and all the time with my math intervention groups. Doing problems in a game format is just so much more fun than a worksheet! I have a huge range of topics available for both 6th grade math and 8th grade math. Many of these would also work for other grade levels! Check out my 6th Grade Math Connect Four Bundle or my 8th Grade Math Connect Four Bundle, depending on what you need! If you would like to get an idea of the format, grab a free copy of a game from each of these bundles at the following links!

FREE Connect Four: Multiplying Decimals - 6th Grade Math
FREE Connect Four: Area, Volume, and Surface Area - 8th Grade Math

(4) Zap!
I have seen different versions of this floating around the internet. I'm not sure who originally thought of it, but it is great... and never ending. We all know their is nothing better than an engaging and never ending math game for students to play! The idea is basic. Students take turns pulling a stick from the jar. If they solve the problem correctly, they get to keep the stick. If they pull a "Zap!" stick, the have to put all of their sticks back in the jar. The best part about this one (other than the never ending part) is that you can easily create a set for various topics. I have a set of basic facts as well as a solving equations set. Both have worked out great! Click HERE for a full explanation of how the game works!

I'm always on the search for new math games. In the comments below, feel free to share the most effective math games that you use in your classroom!


  1. What math program do you teach? I happened upon your blog and love your ideas! I am moving to 6th grade math from K and 2nd grades, so I am learning! Just wanted to see what curriculum you used? Thank you!

  2. Your ideas are absolutely wonderful! Regarding the Fraction and Decimal Board Games, I loved to see how intriguing this activity was to your students regarding them wanting to practice mathematics. It was absolutely genius for you to create a new bundle of games where students work their way through the game by answering math questions. I also loved how you added new excitement by creating road blocks throughout the board games such as the “Switch It Up” space. I also loved how you made the dice activity more challenging by having them tally mark their problems completed, and also enjoyed seeing other links for games and activities for students to practice fractions with. As I am still in school to become an educator, I am looking forward to using your ideas regarding setting up the middle school math classroom. I am a stickler on organization, the teacher book shelf as well as using ruler tape almost seems like a must especially teaching a middle school math classroom.

    Finding ways to make math fun is essential, and I definitely plan to use your endless creative practice ideas to create a more fun learning environment in my classroom! I will unquestionably refer back to this blog in order to bring more life and math excitement to my classroom. I am so thankful I came across this so THANK YOU!! If I find new math games I will be sure to let you know, I just wanted to express how much I loved reading your blog!

    1. Wow, thank you for such kind feedback and good luck as you start your teaching/classroom experiences! Feel free to email if you have questions about anything on my blog as you go!