I've seen these great matching games at various websites. I love the idea of them but since I work with ELL students, I often need to play the game with them so they are able to do it themselves. Just explaining the rules is not enough because it takes a while for them to understand verbal directions. But if I can demonstrate it first, they often do better.

The nice thing is that I either can find or make matching games for most any mathematical topic. The work comes in setting it up. I've been thinking about ways I can demonstrate the game so everyone is engaged and paying attention. I have a smart board that can be set up for use as a game board.

Picture if you will a Jeopardy game for Geometry. Today's jeopardy game is on triangles with topics such as congruent triangles, similar triangles, bisectors, medians and altitudes, classification of triangles, proofs and mixed. If a student picks classification of triangles, the answer might be a right isosceles triangle and the students can put their answer on a whiteboard or tablet. They show the answer and then the teacher shows the answer so they can see if their answer is correct.

For a straight matching game to cover factoring, you can set up a card grid that is 4 by 4 or 6 by 6 with cards that match up. The cards might consist of the tri-nominal and its factor. People select two cards and if they match, the student gets the points. This could easily be done by dividing the students up into teams. Introduce the game by having the teams play so the students learn the game. Its nice to have a small prize for the winners.

Some topics would generate enough problems to create a real deck that could be used to play a variation of go fish where students match the problem with the answer to create a pair. One interchange could be "Do you have (x+3)(x+4)?" rather than "Do you have the factored card for x^2 + 7x + 12?"

I just read an infographic that said students are willing to persist at games because they know that games are designed in a way that people regularly fail. If they play educational games to learn certain topics, they are more likely to learn math better. So perhaps I need to find a few more games to help my students learn better.