It’s been awhile!  I’ve been so busy with my student blogging site that I haven’t taken the time to share classroom strategies with my teacher friends.  Today, I’d like to share 6 games I’ve been using in my classroom to help my students remember their vocabulary words.

Math vocabulary is crucial for all students.  The math vocabulary we’ve been learning will help the students become better readers and problem solvers.  It will also enhance their performance on state and end of year tests.  I started using games in my classroom to help students learn vocabulary.

I have always used games in my classroom because they are fun and the students have a great time and are fully engaged in the lesson.  Games can be used with the whole class, a small group, or in math centers.  I have come up with six games that are quick and easy to plan.  You can use these games with any vocabulary list or with your ELA students!



Everybody LOVES Bingo!

The first game I will share is Bingo.  You will need a blank game card for each student or student pair and 24 vocabulary words.  Next, have your students use their vocabulary notes to fill in the cards or you can display a list of vocabulary words for the students to use on their cards.  Once the students have written their vocabulary words on their bingo cards in any order they choose, the teacher will read one of the definitions.  The students will find and mark the vocabulary word on their bingo card.  Play will continue until a student calls BINGO!  Have the other students help check the winner’s card to make sure all definitions and words have been marked correctly.

You can download a blank game board and playing instructions here in MS Publisher format and PDF format.

 Memory is a super fun game!

Next, we have the classic game Memory.  To play this version of Memory, you will need several vocabulary words and their definitions.  You will write the word on one card and the definition on another card.  It is also helpful to use two different colors of paper – one color for the vocabulary words and one color for the definitions.  (You can use index cards or you can download the template I created for this game.)  Students will begin by shuffling the cards and placing them face down in an array.  Then they will take turns flipping vocabulary words over then a definition card over trying to make a match.

 You can download my template here.

Jeopardy can be played by a whole group or in teams.

I like to use Super Teacher Tools for my Jeopardy games.  It is easy to setup and I can have the students play in small groups on our classroom laptops or I can use it as a review with the whole class.

You can browse Jeopardy games or create you own Jeopardy game here.

This is the EASIEST game to setup!

There is virtually no setup time and the students LOVE IT!  All you need is a trashcan and paper – you already have both of these in your classroom!

You will need a list of vocabulary words or any math problem.  Divide your class into teams and give each student a number – team 1 will have players 1, 2, & 3.  Team 2 will have players 1, 2, & 3. etc.  The teacher will ask a question and then call a player number.  All the players with that number will solve the problem.  The first player to finish the problem can present their answer.  If the answer is correct the player can shoot from the 1 point line, 3 point line or the 5 point line to earn points for their team.

You can take the game a step further by having the students on the scoring team answer a more in depth question about the math problem and double their points if they answer it correctly.  If the student answers the question incorrectly, go to the next player who finishes the problem and repeat the steps.

You can download the playing rules here.

Board games are another easy way to learn vocabulary words in your classroom.

The students will learn to play these games quickly and you can use them over and over with new words or problems.  The games I use in my classroom are Hiking Thru Math Mountain Trails, Race to the Waterfall, Stinky Boots, and Picking Wildflowers.

The last vocabulary game I’d like to share is Rolling Words.

This is a simple game that uses vocabulary cards and a die.  Students take turns selecting a card and stating the vocabulary word of definition that matches the information on the card.  If the student answers correctly, they get to roll the die to see how many points they will receive.  If the student answers incorrectly, it’s the next person’s turn.  The winner is the student with the most points when time is called.