Well Played, 6-8

Building Mathematical Thinking Through Number and Algebraic Games and Puzzles

Students love math games and puzzles, but how much are they really learning from the experience? Too often, math games are thought of as just a fun activity or enrichment opportunity. Learn how to make games and puzzles an integral learning component and gain unique access to student thinking.

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This third book in the series helps you engage students in grades 6–8 in discussions of mathematical ideas and deepen their conceptual understanding. It also helps you develop students’ fluency with number systems; ratio and proportional relationships; expressions and equations, statistics and probability; and patterns, graphs, and functions.

The twenty-five games and puzzles in Well Played, which have all been field-tested in diverse classrooms, contain:

  • explanations of the mathematical importance of each game or puzzle and how it supports student learning;
  • variations for each game or puzzle to address a range of learning levels and styles;
  • clear step-by-step directions; and
  • classroom vignettes that model how best to introduce the featured game or puzzle. 

The book also includes a separate chapter with suggestions for how to effectively manage games and puzzles in diverse classrooms; reproducibles that provide directions, game boards, game cards, and puzzles; assessment ideas; and suggestions for online games, puzzles, and apps.

Well Played will help you tap the power of games and puzzles to engage students in sustained and productive mathematical thinking.

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About the Author(s)

Linda Dacey, professor of mathematics and education at Lesley University, began her career teaching at the elementary level and, early in her career, received an NSF grant to develop a model program for preparing middle school teachers.

Karen Gartland is a mathematics coordinator and classroom teacher at Groton-Dunstable Middle School. She enjoys working with students of all ages with a focus on conceptual understanding of mathematics through critical thinking and application as well as best practices for integrating technology.

Jayne Bamford Lynch is a district math instructional coach in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she spends most of her days in elementary classrooms supporting coaches, teachers, and students.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Supporting Learning Through Games and Puzzles

Chapter 3: The Number System

Chapter 4: Ratios and Proportional Relationships

Chapter 5: Expressions and Equations

Chapter 6: Statistics and Probability

Chapter 7: Patterns, Graphs, and Functions


Answer Key



Product Details

Grades: 6, 7, 8
Media: 248 (est.) pp/paper
Year: 2016
Item No: 1033
ISBN: 978-1-62531-033-0
Hashtag: #wellplayedmath