Everyday Mathematics The University of Chicago School Mathematics Project
About Everyday Mathematics

The Role of Games in Everyday Mathematics

Everyday Mathematics uses games as an engaging way for students to get the frequent practice required to build strong mental arithmetic skills and fact power. Games are used as a way to augment, not replace, activities that focus on rote practice of specific skills and facts, such the Mental Math and Fluency exercises that begin every Everyday Mathematics lesson.

Games vs. Drills

Drills aim primarily at building fact recall and procedural skills. Practice through games shares these objectives, but also reinforces other skills and understandings, including:

  • calculator skills
  • money exchange and shopping skills
  • logic and reasoning
  • geometric intuition

Drills and games should not be viewed as competitors for class time, nor should games be thought of as time-fillers or rewards. In fact, games satisfy many standard drill objectives — and with many built-in options. Drill tends to become tedious and, therefore, gradually loses its effectiveness. Games relieve the tedium because children enjoy them. Indeed, children often want to play Everyday Mathematics games during their free time, including during lunch and recess.

Everyday Mathematics games offer an almost unlimited source of problem material. And because the numbers in most games are generated randomly, the games can be played over and over without repeating the same problems. Many of the Everyday Mathematics games come with variations that allow players to progress from easy to more challenging versions.

Sample games from the Everyday Mathematics curriculum

Related Links

Teaching Everyday Mathematics

Access guides to assessment, computation, differentiation, pacing, and other aspects of Everyday Mathematics instruction.

Everyday Mathematics Virtual Learning Community

Join the Virtual Learning Community to access EM lesson videos from real classrooms, share EM resources, discuss EM topics with other educators, and more.

Professional Development

The UChicago STEM Education offers strategic planning services for schools that want to strengthen their Pre-K–6 mathematics programs.

On the Publisher's Site

McGraw-Hill Education's website features supplemental materials, games, assessment and planning tools, technical support, and more.

About the Authors

Find out more information about the creators of Everyday Mathematics.