When I taught kindergarten and first grade I'd play a song by Dr. Jean, "Math is so Much Fun!" The kids knew all of the words and they'd sing along. Students were to be ready for math time by the time the song ended. I don't know if it was the subliminal message in the song, but all of my kindergartners and first graders loved math.
Now, teaching fourth grade, math is fun for those students who "get it" and for those that struggle, they groan at math time. I found a website that changes all of that. It's prodigy.com, the kids love it. It's designed for first to twelfth grade. It's math put into mystical worlds and battles. The students have to solve math problems in order to get enough lifes to battle. In the battle, if the class is playing together they can challenge each other, by solving math problems at their level. When using prodigy expect the class to get a little noisy as they need to communicate to their peer which world they are in.
I had to see why they loved it so much. I created a user profile for myself and I logged in with the kids. It walks you through what you are supposed to do. I have to admit, it is a fun game! And what the kids don't realize is they are practicing their math at the same time.
As the teacher, I love that I can create a "plan", for example, if I'm working on angles and degrees, I can set the kids up to work on that. Over the summer I have the whole summer mapped out, to review the harder items we had in class. The program is adaptive so it increases in difficulty for students who are getting the problems correct or decreases in difficulty for those who are getting problems wrong. So, even my "math groaners" look forward to playing prodigy. I keep the leaderboard (which you can find on your dashboard) displayed on my smartboard and refresh it every so often. The kids love to see who has moved up on the leaderboard. They also have access to it, but they have to leave their world in order to see it.
We have been on summer break for almost a week. I just checked my dashboard, about half of my class is still playing it. If they are playing at home they are playing with any other fourth grader who is on the web playing and they can challenge them. It's a highly motivating game.
If you'd like to give it a try, here is my link: https://www.prodigygame.com/referral.php?referralCode=BE35CE548AF5&referralName=Gina%2BHickerson&referralOrigin=link