Bingo is one of those simple ideas that works so well for certain topics so I thought I’d collate some resources. I recently went to a parents social at my son’s school where we spent 2 hours playing “Rock ‘n’ Roll bingo” (whilst eating Fish and Chips and drinking beer). OK, so maybe Maths bingo isn’t quite as much fun as trying to spot 80s song titles, but it did inspire me to have a go as it is something I haven’t done much of lately.
It’s a format that works well for topics that students are familiar with but which need more practice. They need to be able to get 90% plus of the questions correct first time and in about the same amount of time across the room. Use it as a revision aid but not the first time you introduce a new topic. It’s likely to get loud, so save it for the end of lessons, maybe those Friday afternoon lessons…
Here are some tips for how to run sessions:
- Bingo cards. Some resources come with bingo cards to print out. This is good for longer games – say 20-25 minutes, maybe as an end-of-term “treat”. However, some resources are designed to do as “quick bingo” by putting up, say 16 answers on the board and then getting students to make their own cards by choosing a random 9. Make sure they write these in pen and that everyone has all 9 clearly written down before starting. No cheating!
- Keeping track and checking. Some of these resources have answers provided, but I think it is better if you do the questions as you go along, just write them down on a scrap of paper as you go and use this to check once a claimant has called out. Do make sure you check answers carefully. It doesn’t matter if it takes a minute or two, it adds to the suspense! As soon as kids get an inkling that you are not checking carefully they WILL cheat!
- Prizes. I have a natural aversion to extrinsic motivation, but hey, a prize just makes it more fun, no matter how cheap or naff! If you are using a bigger bingo card with, say 20 answers then you can also offer line prizes, i.e. a prize to whoever gets the first line, maybe a sticker.
- Ham it up! OK, this is very much down to your personal style and relationship with the class but have some fun with it! Live your dream of being a gameshow host. Pretend like these prizes are the most exciting thing anyone has ever won!
Here are some Bingo resources which cover a decent range of topics. There are various Powerpoint resources on TES too, but I like these sites because they are simple and don’t require log-ins.
There are lots of topics on this site and various options for displaying random-generated questions. Many of the topics include bingo options, here is an example:
Once you are in, there are further options to cover exactly what type of questions you want to display, and whether you want a 4×4 or 3×3 bingo grid. You then display all the answers for your students to randomly pick 9 or 16 from. I really like the way it gives you the option to keep track of the answers as you go which makes checking at the end a whole lot easier!
There are lots of topics on this site, handily listed in menus. Students make their own cards by choosing 9 out of 16.
There are lots of basic number topics in this collection with an emphasis on place value. Students choose 5 out of 12.
There are some provided for free on mathsbox.org.uk which are designed to have the bingo cards printed out. I’ve used the Simplifying Surds ones which worked very well. Each topic contains 30 questions, 16 per card so take about 15 minutes. Presumably if your school pays the £60 annual subscription you get a lot more topics.