Remote Learning A-Z: G is for Games

When I was in the classroom, my favorite way to teach math was through games. This is a lot harder to do in the virtual world, where many online games are glorified versions of flashcards and don’t require a lot of strategy or critical thinking!

Our new math units are chock full of interactive games that help students critically think about math. Let me take you through a division one I love for upper elementary students called Find Marvin. It’s part of our newest unit for 5th grade called Expressions, Equations, and Coordinate Graphing are a Piece of Cake. This game works like Battleship, but uses ordered pairs and not boxes.

Playing Finding Marvin

In this game, Marvin is a tiny robot hiding behind a point on a grid. The first player chooses what point and writes it in a secret location. Player 2 guesses a location, and Player 1 can only give a clue using a direction: N, S, SW, etc. The goal is to practice coordinate graphing and using ordered pairs to find Marvin. Students record their ordered pairs and the clues, and keep track of their guesses by plotting points on the graph.

For Teachers

For teachers, we provide a Google Slide demo in our Student Visuals deck. Teachers can model the game over a virtual meeting by sharing their screen, then playing against the class. The yellow points are images that can be dragged around, and you can type your guesses and clues into the table.

In this example, you can see how we plotted our points and then recorded guesses and clues.

Note: When you demo, you will want to be in EDIT mode and not in PRESENT mode. Pieces won’t move in PRESENT mode.

For Students

The great thing about this particular version of our game is that it is on Google Slides, so it can be shared and used again and again. Share a forced copy link (see Letter F of our tips more more into) and now they are able to share it with a friend and play together over a virtual meeting!

To play multiple rounds, just choose the gameboard and right click, the select Duplicate Slide as many times as you want.

Why We Love Google Slides for Games

Another bonus about our games is that the only things that move on the slide are the ones that need to. In this particular game, the grid and the compass rose are part of the slide’s background, and so when the pieces move, students (and adults) can’t accidentally move the gameboard or delete the compass rose. (Because they have to type into the table, it can be deleted, but it is easy to CTRL-Z it back to life!)

One final tip: in edit mode, Google Slides automatically puts in lines to help you make sure your images are centered. The lines can be distracting, so to get rid of them when you are modeling, simply go to View –> Snap To –> Guides.

More Game Examples

We have interactive games in all of our remote curriculum units. Here are just a few screenshots of some of our primary games: Number Bingo, Adding Planets, and Race to 100.

Want to Create Your Own Games?

Below is a help doc if you are interested in creating your own interactive games on Google Slides. Be warned: it’s not for the faint of heart! Or, send us an email with an idea and we might just create it for you!

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