Today I played a new math bingo game with a class of 4th and 5th graders that literally had the kids jumping out of their chairs, they were so excited!
I thought to myself, ok, when you see kids yelling “ooh ooh ooh!” with hands in the air so they can share a math problem they’ve just created, you know you’re onto something.
Here is my new favorite math bingo game, and some suggestions to make it as huge a hit with your kids as it was with mine!
Set Up The Math Bingo Game
You will need a 5×5 grid and a die (or use a dice rolling app on your phone).
- Draw or print a 5×5 grid, then fill in the squares randomly with numbers 1 to 25.
- Now roll the die four times to get your four numbers for the game. Here are the numbers I rolled:
4 2 6 3
Now you are ready to play.
How to Play The Best Math Bingo Game Ever
GOAL: cross out 5 in a row to get Bingo, or cross out all the numbers to get Blackout.
The rules are simple: You must make a math problem using all four numbers that you rolled, that equals one of the numbers on your game board.
You can use any math operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication or division) to get your answer. Cross the answer off your game board.
Here are some examples that, together, get Bingo in the game above:
4 + 2 – 6 + 3 = 3
3 x 4 + (6 ÷ 2) = 15
(6 – 4) + (2 x 3) = 8
4 x 2 + 6 – 3 = 11
2 x 6 ÷ 4 + 3 = 6
Say “Bingo” when you cross off a whole column, row, or diagonal line. Most kids don’t want to stop at Bingo; they want to keep going to see if they can cover all the squares to get Blackout.
Advanced Math Tricks
Here are some of our favorite ways to find even more numbers:
- Combine digits to make larger numbers.
63 – 42 = 21
- The square root of a number: 2 x 2 = 4, so the square root of 4 is two.
√4 + (6 x 3) +2 = 22
- A number squared: Write one of your numbers as an exponent.
42 – 6 – 3 = 7
- Factorials: The factorial of 4 is written as 4! and means 1 x 2 x 3 x 4, or 24. The factorial of 3 (3!) is 1 x 2 x 3, or 6.
(4 x 3!) – (6 x 2 ) = 12
Most kids are excited to learn new ways of doing math if it helps them get new numbers to use in their math bingo game!
Some Final Thoughts On Play
This is a great collaborative game–everyone trying out their own math problems and crossing off numbers on the same game board.
We tried a competitive version, each with their own numbers and game board, and also a solo version where kids played on their own. Neither of these were nearly as fun as working together to get Blackout on a shared game board.
It’s rare to find a game that so naturally encourages collaboration. The cooperative nature of this game made it perfect for the classroom, and also a great math bingo game to play at home with family or friends.