So about 2 maybe 3 years ago I was trying to come up with some new ways to keep my students engaged in math class on the days where...well frankly...they just need to practice. We all have those days and honestly, they are the days that both my students and myself dread. It's boring for me, they get cranky, and everyone is just off task. To them it feels like "busy work", which it's not, they need to master the skill before they can apply it, but that's how they feel. One evening by some miracle I came up with life-sized Candy Land. Before you get all excited there is no Mr. Mint, Princess Lolly, Lord Licorice, or Queen Frostine. I laminated colored squares of paper that I put in the pattern on the floor. There is a start and finish square, and the students get to pick their own game piece (I'll talk about those later!). They draw cards out of a bucket with problems on one side, and either a single colored square or double colored squares on the other. If the students answer the problem correctly they move ahead that many colored squares. If they answer it wrong, they don't move at all. The team to make it to the end wins!
Here's how it looks...
It's pretty basic but my students absolutely love to play it. I have watched students jumping up and down to come to math class because we are playing it. When I first started the winning team would get candy bars of their choice. After a few years of playing, I have made a few adjustments to the game.
I have added chips that can make them advance or have to go back, and if they are super lucky they get a go back to start chip. Instead of just the winning team getting candy I decided to put chips on specific squares around the room. The first team to land on that square after answering a problem correctly removes the chip and turns it in at the end of the hour for candy. This way those students who might are further behind won't give up so quickly.
The game pieces are the best part of this whole game, and the part they will race to class and fight over getting. They are just random things I have in my classroom and many of them I have no clue where they came from. The bucket of pieces keeps growing each year and they are getting better and better.
The colored squares have been used by a ton of teacher in my building. What's funny is what game pieces they come up with to use. Our Nursing Program borrowed it and used fake organs as their pieces and it was AWESOME! I hope to add to the game the Rainbow Trail and the Gumdrop Pass, it's what they keep asking for.