Student Created Math Spinner Games for Any Grade Level

Learn how to increase buy in and engagement using student created math spinner games! Using simple game templates and supplies, the possibilities are endless. 

Games are an engaging way to practice a new math skill but they can be so much more than that! Student created or student adapted games provide the same fun practice and they give us insight to students’ reasoning, understanding, and confidence levels. When learners can adapt a math game to be easier or harder or apply an entirely new math skill – they are synthesizing ideas and creating something new! They have BUY-IN and we have INSIGHT.

*This is a guest post from Kristine at

Hi! I am Kristine Venneman from TheMathViking.Com and I’m writing today because Bethany and I share a love of playful and sophisticated math games to engage learners of all ages. Simply put, we can’t get enough of worthwhile games, so she invited me to share some of mine.

Math Spinner Game Templates:

Want to get started with your own versions of math spinner games? At the end of the article, you’ll find a link for a FREE set of math game templates.

Then consider how you could use a simple template like the one included below to provide some math practice for YOUR class tomorrow, or next week, or next month.

This idea works for any math operation, any set of numbers and any age group.

Game Set Up & Tips:

I use these game templates with pencil and paper, but I often slip them into sheet protectors and use wipe off markers to vary games instantly.

To get started, you’ll just need the game template (shown below) and a paperclip & pencil to use for the spinner.

Optional: Place in a sheet protector and provide dry erase markers so students can change up the game at anytime.

Math Spinner Games: Ideas for 1st and 2nd Grade

1. Write 10 on the UNO Card and fill in random numbers to “Add 10 to Any Number”

*After a few plays, ask learners to choose any number for the UNO card.

*Consider having students choose the numbers. Do they stay safe or level up? Would some learners benefit from sticking with ten? Let them.

2. Write 100 on the UNO Card and fill in random numbers to “Subtract from 100”

*Ask students to choose numbers they think are easy to subtract mentally.

*Then instruct them to choose numbers that are not as easy to subtract mentally.

NOTE: As kids work more and more with addition and subtraction in the early grades, consider the importance of counting and the many ways we must level up our counting games.  All too often, counting drops off when we begin composing numbers when instead we should be leveling up!  Check out this counting blog post for more tips and freebies.

Math Spinner Games: Ideas for 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade

1. Write a 7 on the UNO card and fill in factors to “Multiply by 7.”

*Giving directions like this is an authentic way of building vocabulary.

2. Write a 3 on the UNO card and fill in factors to “Divide by 3 without a remainder.”

*Next, ask them to choose numbers that will give them a remainder of one.

3. Write a 3/8 on the UNO card and fill in fraction numbers to “Add ⅜”

*There are third graders who could be successful with different denominators and fifth graders who will consistently choose to work with eighths. That tells us some very important things about their confidence and understanding.

This is why open tasks are so important.

In addition to the students we already know are highly confident or not confident at all, there are always some who surprise me. Those learners who fly under the radar as solid students, but are not particularly overachieving might shine here!

Let’s give them engaging ways of showing us how they feel about a particular math topic by letting them create the game.

More Math Spinner Game Options:

  • Add Ten to any number
  • Subtract .03 from random money amounts
  • Multiply or divide by a particular factor (whole number, fraction, decimal)
  • Change the value of a variable, exponent, coefficient in the expression written on the UNO card

In addition to the spinner game, the free download below also includes tips for having your learners create Bingo games, “Flip & Skirmish” games and more.

If you teach grades 3-6, please check out these posts for more free games to teach place value and fractions. There are some incredibly fun games that provide the ultimate insight to your students’ math thinking. While you’re there, don’t miss the game grid for free interactive math play!

Oh! Speaking of incredibly fun games, I have to ask you to consider the 100 Number Dash game for ages 6 to Adult!

I play it at all of my professional development gigs because teachers of every grade love it! It is fast paced and energetic but it builds incredible number sense with whatever number sets you choose.

Play with whole numbers or fractional numbers. All games come with teacher tips, high level questioning and differentiation options.

Ready to try out student-created math spinner games with your kids? Use the link below to grab the FREE games template collection from Kristine at The Math Viking!

>>Click HERE to download the free collection of math game templates to create your own games.<<

Looking for more math game ideas for grades K-8? Check out the games below!

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