Spaghetti Bolognaise and Maths

Today is my fortnightly Bolognaise Sauce making afternoon.

As I was making my sauce, I was grating the carrot and zucchini into a pulp, my daughter walked past…she said “I didn’t know you put those veggies in our sauce?”

The game was up… she had found out that I was hiding veggies in their favourite dinner…

I was thinking this is very like my approach to maths.

I wanted to share this, because I know you are interested in helping your students develop a LOVE of maths.

It is safe to say I am obsessed with games…board games, card games, play in the car games, any games… and why… well here's a few reasons...

  • They are fun
  • They are hands-on
  • Students learn invaluable lessons about winning, losing, playing fair and collaboration

And here is the kicker…

  • There is maths in just about EVERY game (but they don’t know that!)

My secret way to get students to think strategically, develop their problem solving skills and work on many different maths concepts is to play games. It is just like my bolognaise sauce… there is goodness in there that they don’t even know about!

I seriously think I may have played UNO over 1000 times… my children NEVER get sick of it… and every time they play they are refining their skills, developing their strategies and adapting to the cards they are dealt.

Every year I teach my class my "go to" games in Term 1. These are the games I use over and over but with different foci. For example, I might play fraction snap... or place value Bingo... or measurement memory... depending on what my topic is... but it means my students don't have to learn new games...they just have to apply them in a new context...

My "go to" games include:

✅Snap

✅Memory

✅Bingo

✅Go Fish

So my challenge to you is to GET YOUR GAME ON and commit to playing one game this week with your class and play it at least 4 times! 

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