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Maths Top Trumps and Other Top Games
January 29, 2012
In an ideal world my students would be motivated by their love of learning, not because I’m prancing about the classroom like a kids entertainer. Sadly intrinsic motivation is a holy grail I am yet to discover; cue numberloving’s top classroom games to motivate your students and get them learning without even realising.

Top Trumps

This is a popular children’s game which your students will have played before but never like this. See my collection (which are all differentiated) and full instructions on the TES here, there’s also a nice shape properties set here and my new fractions version with celebrities here. Basically students have to work out the questions on their card and challenge their opponent, if they triumph they win the card. Students will quite happily play this as long as you let them, blissfully unaware that on each turn they are working out four questions. You can adapt this idea for most topics and include pictures of whatever you want, including your students!


Time for a classic from Mr Barton, one of his most popular resources are these equivalent fraction snap cards. Fairly self-explanatory, I see this as an idea which could be extended to lots of topics, shape properties, collecting like terms, the list goes on.


A popular game show which can be used as a starter or plenary, the collection on the TES contains lots of examples and instructions. You can adapt the Powerpoint to have questions on any topic you want, and the picture behind to be anything you want, such as dingbats or places.

Who Wants to be a Millionnaire

This is such a classic and there are so many versions flying around, this is my favourite template, simple and easy to adapt.

Board Games

A board game is another great way to get students so engrossed in competing that they don’t realise how much Maths they are doing, I have shared several board games on the TES which I have listed below, all of these are differentiated, if students land on a question they have to work it out and progress forwards or backwards.

Shrek – substituting into expressions

Simpsons – BIDMAS

Monsters INC – Solving equations

Finding NEMO – Directed numbers

Batman – Percentages of amounts


Bingo is a great game to use as a starter, really hook the students into the lesson, get them to write their solutions on mini whiteboards to bring in a bit of AFL. There are so many games on the TES collection page you may never need to make one yourself, I particularly like the games where students pick their own numbers since you don’t need to print anything.

Get in touch @numberloving and visit our TES NumberLoving store for free and premium resources!!

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Sharon Derbyshire





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