5 Tips for Math Review at Home

Five Tips for At-Home Math Review

Whether you are a teacher striving for creative ways to wrap up your math curriculum in a distance-learning format or you are a parent who has plummeted head-first into an unexpected homeschool journey, you can help your little ones end the school year on a high note—and we're here with practical tools to help! This article features five tips for reviewing math skills with students at home. With a little ingenuity on your part, you can help your students review important math skills they have worked hard to master this year. Read on to find out more.

End-of-the-year review sessions may look a little different for many schools this year. Even so, your students can gain valuable opportunities to review math skills at home. Following are five ideas to help you make at-home review sessions a success. 

Turn Favorite Games into Math Games

Practice Math Skills with Family Games

Do you have a closet full of family board games? Grab your kids' favorites and get ready to put a math spin on some classics. There is no need to change the rules for games like Monopoly, Yahtzee, or Rummikub—games like these challenge students' math skills by design. Children can practice basic addition and subtraction, budgeting and money skills, probability, strategy, critical thinking, patterns, and sequencing, just to name a few math skills. Other classic games can easily undergo a "math makeover" with a few additional rules. For example, consider a game of "math checkers." Write addition facts, subtraction facts, multiplication facts, or division facts on the dark squares of a checker board. Each time a child wants to move his or her game piece to a specific square, he or she will have to correctly say the math fact on that square or forfeit a turn to the other player. See what other games you have on hand that can be turned into math games!

You don't need to limit math practice to board games. There are plenty of math review games you can play with dice or a deck of cards too. 

Consider these review games you can play with dice: 

  • Addition Dice Game – Two players compete for the highest sum. Player 1 rolls a pair of dice and adds the numbers together. She writes the math fact on a sheet of paper. Player 2 rolls his dice and does the same. The player with the higher score wins the round. After all the rounds are played, the player who wins the most rounds wins the game. 
  • Race You to 100 – Two players compete to see who can be the first to roll sums to one hundred (or any number). Players take turns rolling a pair of dice and adding the digits. The first player to reach a total of one hundred wins. 
  • Math Fact Madness – Two players compete to see who can say the math fact fastest. Players take turns rolling the dice. Whoever is the first person to say the addition math fact wins the round. Play 10 or 20 rounds. 

Check out these math games you can play with a deck of cards:

  • Math War – Play this card game to practice addition, subtraction, or multiplication. After removing jokers, face cards, and aces from the deck, split the deck in two and make sure the cards are face down. Two players turn over the top card in their pile at the same time. Whoever shouts out the complete math fact first wins the cards. The player who ends up with all the cards is the winner. 
  • My Number is Higher! – Play this card game to practice addition or multiplication. After removing jokers, face cards, and aces from the deck, deal out four cards to each player. The player who can make the highest sum (for addition games) or product (for multiplication games) wins the round. Whoever wins the most rounds wins the game. 
  • Place Value Champion – Play this card game to practice place value. After removing jokers, face cards, and aces from the deck, split the deck between two players and keep the cards face down. Both players draw five cards from the top of their piles. (Students can draw fewer cards if you want them to practice with smaller numbers.) Players rearrange their cards to make a number with the highest possible place value. Whoever makes the highest number wins all the cards in play. Whoever wins the most rounds wins the game. 

Whether your students use their favorite board games, dice, or a deck of cards, they can review important math concepts while playing a fun game. 

Get Your Students in the Kitchen!

Practice Math Skills in the Kitchen

Tons of practical learning takes place right in the kitchen, and this is a great opportunity for your students to apply their math skills to a hands-on cooking or baking project. Making recipes requires important math skills like basic operations with fractions and understanding equivalent fractions, as well as knowledge of temperature and time. Here are some practical ways your little learners can put their math skills to the test in the kitchen: 

  • Guide them through making a basic recipe such as a batch of cookies or brownies. Consider asking them to half or double the recipe. They will be required to use their knowledge of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing fractions to adjust the recipe according to your instructions. 
  • Give kids limited measuring tools. Maybe you only give them a half cup and a third cup for measurement. If the recipe calls for 3 cups of flour and 2/3 cup vegetable oil, they will be required to make the appropriate adjustments. 
  • Encourage students to keep track of time. If the timer on the oven signals that the batch of brownies needs to be checked after 30 minutes, and your students test the batter to find it's not quite done, you may ask them to check the batter in two minutes. Maybe you repeat this process a total of three times. Ask your students to keep a running total of the bake time required for the brownies (30 + 2 + 2 + 2). 

As you work with your students in the kitchen, you'll run into dozens of scenarios where they are required to use different math skills. Plus, a warm batch of chocolate chip cookies is a pretty sweet reward for math practice, don't you think? 

Plant a Garden

Learn About Math in Gardening

Late spring is a wonderful time to plant a garden, and this activity is the perfect opportunity for kids to apply their math skills to another fun, hands-on project the whole family will enjoy. Depending on where you live, you may find that planting a backyard garden is totally doable, or you may prefer to opt for a smaller container garden or even an herb box on the kitchen window sill. Adapt this project to the needs and resources of your family. Here are just a few of the math skills your students will put to the test as they plant a garden: 

  • Counting and sorting: As you decide which seeds to plant in your family garden, students can keep track of which varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs your family wants to plant, as well as estimate how many of each type of plant you will have. 
  • Money: What is the family budget for this year's garden? Require your students to work within this budget as they flip through seed catalogs or browse fliers from the local nurseries. You may require them to allocate money in the budget for seeds/plants, soil, and garden tools, as needed. 
  • Time: Work with your students to determine the best time for planting as well as how much time your family must devote to planting and maintaining the garden. 
  • Area and perimeter: How big will your garden be? Give students guidelines to help them figure out the area and perimeter of the family garden (i.e. "We are going to make our garden 4 feet by 5 feet. What will the area and perimeter of our garden be?) 

Not only will your students practice important math concepts like these as you plant a family garden, but you will create lasting memories from this meaningful shared experience!

Go on a Math Scavenger Hunt

Try a Math Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt is an exciting way to practice a variety of math skills! Hide math problems around the house and send your students on a treasure hunt to find them all. Browse through printable task cards and use them for your scavenger hunt game. Your students can practice math concepts like addition and subtraction with regrouping or without regrouping, measurement, angles, area, fractions, decimals, multiplication, division, money, time, rounding, and more. 

Hide the task cards in challenging spots around your house. Tell your little ones how many task cards they will need to find on their scavenger hunt. Each time they find a task card, they will need to solve the math problem and write the answer in their notebook. See if they can find all the task cards and solve the problems correctly!

Here are a few ideas to make the most of this math scavenger hunt game: 

  • Decide whether kids will work alone or as a team to find all the task cards. 
  • Offer a prize if kids can find all task cards and get a certain number of math problems correct (all correct, only one incorrect, etc.).
  • Hide task cards inside and outside, including in the backyard or on the front porch. 
  • Make the game sequential by writing a clue on the back of each task card to help little ones find the next card. 
  • Mix and match task cards featuring different math concepts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems to give your students extra review on a variety of skills. 

You'll be the math review hero with this awesome scavenger hunt game!

Play Interactive Online Math Games

Play Interactive Online Math Games

Take your math review game to the next level with interactive online math activities! We would be remiss to give you tips and resources for successful at-home math review if we didn't include the wonderful math practice tools on iKnowIt.com! The "I Know It" online math program makes a great alternative to some of the more hands-on games and family activities we have presented above. Students can work individually on a variety of math skills, including numbers and place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, word problems, fractions, money, measurement, decimals, time, geometry, and much more. 

Students love using "I Know It" math lessons at home because each activity presents as a fun, yet challenging, math game. Silly animated characters cheer students on in their practice sessions and kids can earn math awards for their "trophy case" for every new math concept they master. Math review is exciting, engaging, and fun on "I Know It"!

It can be difficult to know how to make the most out of math review at home, but we hope these five ideas are great reminders that reviewing math skills with little ones can be simple, memorable, and fun. 

Did you try any of these review games with your at-home learners? We want to hear from you! Drop us a line in the comment section below. Also, remember to tag @iknowit on social media so we can check out your fun review sessions. 


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