Interactive Math Array Games

By Jason Vaughan
Interactive Math Array Games
numbers image by Ruta Saulyte from Fotolia.com

Math array games incorporate the idea of multiplication and division by arranging sets of numbers in rows or columns. Games designed around this idea help students understand what an array is, how different math concepts work together with it as a whole and ways to create new math games about arrays.

Array Tetris

This game, found on WSD1.org, is designed for in class or at home play. The main educative focus of this game is to improve array building for two players. To make the game, players will need dice, graph paper and markers (crayons or colored pencils work as well). The game starts after a player rolls two dice and multiplies the numbers. If a player rolls a "2" and "5," the player then draws the array on the graph paper using markers and then writes the equation (2 X 5) on the colored spaces. The next player rolls the dice and repeats the same process. Once no room is left to color, players receive a point for each row and column that is filled in.

Array Bingo

Bingo is a great way to incorporate the entire class in a math game activity and LWSD.org offers a fun bingo array game to easily make. Students can use 100-chart bingo boards so an abundant amount of numbers are available for play. A factor card pile adds a different twist to this bingo game because it encourages all students to participate and use strategy to mark different numbers on their bingo boards. When a card is drawn, players can mark any number that is a multiple of the factor card. If a "3" is drawn, for example, players have the option to mark "3," "6," "9" and so on. Depending on how many factor cards are made, cards can be discarded after each turn or reused. To mix the game play up, add wild cards that allow players to choose any factor from one to 100. When a player has five numbers in a row (either up, down or diagonal), the game ends.

Array Cards

Array cards are great because they introduce multiplication concepts to younger children. There are a few different games players can play with array cards and these card games can be found on Investigations.terc.edu. Players can play multiplication pairs, count and compare and small array/big array card games. Multiplication pairs involves cards that are face-up and face-down to find the correct answers to multiplication pairs and the game ends when all cards are picked up. Count and compare plays like the card game War where players must compare the top array card to determine which card is larger. Small array/big array encourages players to expand smaller arrays into larger ones. For example, if a player has "5 X 9," the idea is to play "2 X 9" and "3 X 9" (because 2 + 3 = 5).

About the Author

Jason Vaughan started writing professionally in 2004 when his poem, "Mirror-like Limpid," was published in the literary magazine "Undefined." The same poem took second place in a local library poetry contest in 2005. Vaughan graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Arts in history.