Partner games are definitely one of my favorite ways to have my students practice math skills. This post will share all the details about my favorite math partner games, a link to get 30+ free partner games, and how to get even more if you love them as much as me.
Using Math Partner Games
Partner games are perfect for practicing math skills. Because there are only two students working together, both students are working, and none are left out. There is also instant accountability as the partners (when chosen appropriately) hold each other accountable.
The partner games I use (and the ones I am sharing with you) are very consistent. This allows me to teach my students the directions and expectations for the five types of games at the beginning of the year. Then, I can use those same partner games all year long with different math content and skills, and my students immediately know what to do.
Let’s take a look at those partner games.
Bump Partner Games
To play the game, the students need two different colored counters (or the counters that have one color on each side) and two dice. This game is SO easy to play and so much fun.
Here are the directions:
Objective: To have the most squares covered by the end of the game
1. Roll a pair of dice, and determine the sum of the numbers rolled.
2. Find the number that matches the sum of the numbers you rolled.
3. Answer or solve the task.
4. Find the answer or solution in one of the squares.
5. Place your marker on the square.
Other Important Information:
1. If another player rolls the same sum as you and gets the answer correct, he or she may “bump” your marker and place his or her marker on the square.
2. You can protect your square by rolling the same sum again and placing another marker on top of the existing one. Two markers on the same square by the same player will protect that player from being bumped.
If you notice, there are eleven questions but sixteen squares. Some of the questions (the sums rolled most often by the two dice) have more than one answer the students can choose to put their counter on. When I introduce this game, we spend a few minutes talking about this to make sure the students don’t get confused and to discuss how you have to use a little strategy to decide what to do (protect your square by putting your counter on the square where your counter already is, trying to get the other square but not having either one of them be safe, or even bumping another player instead of putting your counter on a empty square.)
Tic Tac Toe Partner Games
Tic Tac Toe is pretty self-explanatory; however, I do require both partners to solve the tasks. This keeps both students working and being held accountable. I have included an answer key, but I only instruct my students to use the answer key if they get different answers. Here are the specific directions:
1. Choose a game to begin.
2. Decide who will be X and who will be O.
3. Take turns selecting a box and solving the task inside the box.
4. Both partners solve the task. If the player who chose the task is correct, then he or she can mark it with his or her X or O.
5. Continue until a player covers three boxes (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) or until all of the boxes are solved.
6. Repeat steps 1-5 with a new game.
Partner Math Sort
While this one is not necessarily a “game,” students still really enjoy it. For this partner activity, the students each have their own sort cards that they have to sort correctly. One thing that I did not include in the directions (for space reasons) is that I have my students initial their cards so I can use this to informally assess.
Math Game Boards
Math game boards are a staple in my math instruction, and my students never seem to tire of them. The game boards I use for partner math games are super simple and only one page. The students roll a die and move that many places. They solve the task on the place they land on. I prefer to use a special cube that is only 1-3 (included in the download) so my students move slowly across the board, thus answering more questions.
Roll and Race Math Partner Game for Review
This final partner math game that we play is “Roll and Race.” This is the only one that is really new to my students, and depending on my class, I have been known to tweak the directions a bit. Here are the directions as written on the game:
Directions: Take turns rolling one die and choosing a task in the row that matches the number on the die. The first player to complete all of the tasks in a row or column wins that row or column. Continue until all tasks have been completed. If you roll a number for a row that has been completed, then you lose a turn.
Sometimes, I have my students forgo the race part and just play the game, attempting to cover as many spaces as they can. It really depends on my students that I have that year, but sometimes playing it that way (or letting them choose how they want to play it) works better.
How can I get these math partner games for FREE?
Super easy! These are exclusive free games available to my email list subscribers (and only to them – you cannot get them anywhere else!). When you sign up, I highly recommend using a personal email address (versus a school address) to ensure the email is not blocked. The games will be sent to you right away, so be sure to check your junk, spam, or promotions folder if you don’t see them within a few minutes.
Click right here to get signed up for the FREE math partner games featured on this post (and many more not shown)!
If you are already on my email list, they are in your exclusive freebie library. If you can’t remember the details, find any email from me (Jennifer Findley) to get the details. I always include the library login information and link at the bottom of every email for your convenience.
Where can I find MORE math partner games?
As I mentioned before, the best part about using these partner games is that they stay consistent all year. Teach the directions and expectations once, and then just change out the math skills as the year progresses. For more math partner games that cover grade level skills, click on the link below to see the bundle for the grade level you teach.
4th Grade Math Partner Games BUNDLE
5th Grade Math Partner Games BUNDLE
How do these fit into your math instruction?
Typically, we play these math partner games during whole group instruction days (after the lesson and some targeted independent practice). However, they also work well for math centers. Click here to read more about what my typical math centers look like. Another option is to have the students play theses games for review before a unit or skill assessment. I have even played these games during small group math instruction. My students love when I play against them, and I do, too. The Bump and Tic Tac Toe are my favorites to play with my students in small group.
Here is the link to get the FREE games one more time: FREE Math Partner Games for Multiplication and Division Facts
Let me know in the comments if you plan on adding these to your instruction. I know your students will love them just as much as mine!
I am so excited about some new math fact games that I can introduce to my students. I plan to implement them into my math stations, but I also see the advantage in utilizing these for early finishers as well. I am always looking for new things for my students to do in their math fact station, so they don’t get bored with doing the same thing all the time. Thank you!
Michelle H. says
Thank you so much for this amazing resource! I am thrilled to have some new tools for my students to use for multiplication and division! They will love these. I am so happy to have found your blog–I spotted this product when thetexasteacher14 posted on Instagram. Yay! Happily following you now!
Thank you so much for these! I started tutoring students who are behind in school, and was at a complete loss as to how to make it fun! These are amazing!
Shannon Weber says
I am getting an error message when I click on the link 🙁 I would LOVE to have these games for my 3rd graders, please!
Jennifer Findley says
Hi Shannon, sorry about that. My email system was down for part of the morning. It is working now though. Thanks for letting me know!
Ashley Smith says
I would really like to use these in my class. When I request an email for them, I never receive anything. I have checked my junk mail and spam folders. Can you help?
Where do I fine the gam cards?
I’m trying to get these games for my first day back from break tomorrow, but I’ve tried 4 times, and the email won’t send. I don’t have anything in my inbox, and I’ve tried different email addresses. Any help?
And what do you think about: http://Aztekium.pl/Math
I invite you to try it.
Diane hartwig says
Are the boards downloadable or do I have to make them?
I would love to use these games in my classroom! I signed up on the email list to get the games but I have not gotten anything….not even in my junk folder! Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!
Rita Elliott Mingle says
Jennifer, This is a silly question, but I have looked high and low for the pockets which your game boards are in. Where did you get them. Thank you!
Check out Amazon: Dry Erase Pockets
kasey brovold says
Hi! Please send me my free resources! I joined but did not receive anything.
Rachel Sorensen says
Hi, Jennifer. These look like amazing resources for my students and class. My information was entered yesterday, and I received the confirmation screen; however, the emails have not arrived. How long does it usually take? I can’t wait get started using these awesome free resources. I have purchased several of your other things from TPT, but these will some of my students who need addition practice. I eagerly await your emails and your reply.
Are you still offering these games as a free download? If so, the link is not working. I would love to use these as the kiddos are now working from home.
Jennifer Findley says
Hi, I just checked the link and it works for me. Try this direct link: https://app.convertkit.com/landing_pages/268594?v=6
Tammy Palli says
I have requested your free games, but haven’t seen anything in my email.
Catherine Earley says
Thanks so much for sharing all your hard work with others! Much appreciated!
Jennifer, do you have labels for these games? Thanks for sharing your talents!
Kathleen Nichols says
I subscribed but am not receiving the downloads in either my email or spam. Can you help with that?
These games look great! I do have a quick question though. How does the “race” element get incorporated into Roll and Race game? Thanks!
Barclay Brown says
I would like access to your free math games via your email list