Math = Love: Stuff Worth Sharing: Big Ideas Game Closet

Monday, April 20, 2015

Stuff Worth Sharing: Big Ideas Game Closet

So, I tweeted a link to this a couple of weeks ago, but I want to write a blog post about it too.  My own twitter use is sporadic, and I'm even worse about trying to keep up with reading everybody's tweets when life gets kinda crazy.  I know plenty of people haven't found out about this awesome resource.  But, if you already saw the link, forgive me.

This past summer, I was introduced to Big Ideas Learning through a Common Core workshop I attended.  We each received one of the Big Ideas textbooks to use in our classrooms.  These texts have been specifically written to meet the CCSS.  Of course, Oklahoma had already decided to drop Common Core at this point...  So, the book has been sitting on my shelf all year long.

Now that testing is over, I'm starting to think about ideas for next year.  I'm thinking of restructuring my algebra courses, so I'm looking for ideas.  While flipping through the Big Ideas Algebra 2 textbook , I saw a link to an assessment task that looked interesting on their website.  Going to the website led me to seeing a link to their Game Closet.  I clicked on that link, and I'm SO glad I did!

There are over 30 printable pdf games to use in your middle school / high school math classroom.  I haven't tried any of these in my classroom yet, but they look pretty and solid.  I'm super excited about trying out this logarithm board game next year.  If I taught geometry, I'd definitely be printing and laminating this war game to practice finding area.  I might modify this game a bit for my students, but I like this idea for turning graphing one variable inequality practice into a game.

This year, my students really struggled with identifying parallel and perpendicular lines.  Playing a game like this would probably have helped.  I also really like this dice game for practicing operations with polynomials.  I could keep linking to cool games, but I think you should really just visit the link for yourself.

Now, if you teach younger students or need remediation resources, they also have an alternate game closet.  This includes games to review the coordinate plane, integer operations, order of operations, fractions/decimals/percents, etc.  There is a bit of overlap between the two collections.  Here's the link to this other set of games to download.

If you find something cool, please share it on twitter or on your own blog.  Let the world know about it!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing this link.

  2. Love it and FREE!!!! I bought some games like this years ago.

    1. That's what I was most excited about, too! :D

  3. I like these games but I get easily frustrated when the game is "move a pawn and then arbitrarily answer a math question" rather than having the math be integrated into the actual play of the game.

    Rather than only complaining, though, I want to offer an alternative! So, at least for the logarithms game, here's some description of what I would do instead to integrate the logarithmic thinking into the gameplay. This comes a bit earlier in the log unit than the game from Big Ideas -- probably just after they've mastered what a log means in terms of converting back and forth between exponential and logarithmic form of a statement, though if you're focused more on practice than on inquiry you could do it after they know log(a) + log(b) = log(ab).

    My post is at and in response to a twitter suggestion from David Wees I will soon be updating it with pictures.

    Thanks for inspiring me to finally get that written up!

    1. Very interesting idea! And, I agree that it is best for math to be integrated into actual game play. I'm just not always sure how to make that happen. Something for me to ponder this summer!