The game of bingo is a familiar one for most adults. Most of us know how to play bingo and that could be simply a result of watching others play, or perhaps because we have played the game ourselves. What many people do not know however is that versions of bingo are now used by many teachers in their classrooms.
Perhaps, the most familiar variants of educational bingo are perhaps those used in English, reading and language classes. In these versions, the bingo cards are printed with letters, words or phrases. The students check off the matching bingo squares in response to the teacher’s bingo calls. The squares might be matched by containing the letter the teacher’s word begins with (”phonemic awareness bingo”), being a sight word that the teacher calls out (”sight word bingo”), matching the definition the teacher gives (”vocabulary bingo”), or perhaps being even the French, German, Italian or Spanish translation of an English word read out by the teacher (”language bingo”).
Bingo versions can also be used to help teach math:
- Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division bingo – The bingo cards can be printed with math problems (in which case the student must find the matching problem when called out by the teacher, and write in the correct answer), or they can be printed with numbers (for example, a student may mark off the “24? square if the teacher says “4 times 6?).
- Decimals bingo – The student must find the square containing “0.59? if the teacher says 59 hundredths, etc. Teachers can also introduce less obvious puzzles into the mix, for example, students must find “0.25? when the teacher says “a quarter”.
- Fractions bingo – Similar to decimals bingo, but the squares contain fractions. Students might be required not only to find the matching fraction when given in the same form but also be able to find less obvious matches, for example finding the square containing “1/2? even if the teacher calls out “0.5? or “two quarters”.
- Rounding bingo – Students must find the square containing “100? when the teacher says “round 97 to the nearest multiple of 10? etc.