I am constantly searching for enrichment activities to keep my gifted students engaged, challenged, and excited about learning. This list of 5 enrichment activities for elementary students will give you an idea of the types of resources you can use with your high-ability students.
Puzzles can exercise both sides of your brain. They improve memory, spatial reasoning, problem-solving abilities, and so much more. My students really enjoy putting together math puzzles as enrichment activities. It provides a challenge for them, builds their patience, and encourages collaboration amongst peers.
Have you ever played Spoons with friends? It’s a card game where you pass around the cards in a circle until you find four of a kind. The same concept can be applied to math! Students LOVE this game! It’s fast-paced and requires mental math skills. It’s great for building math fact fluency or can even be used with harder equations with students who can handle more challenging material. Math Spoons on TPT
Not only do students practice their math skills, but they also learn strategy, critical thinking, they learn and pick up on other players behavior, and learn to work together with others to complete a common goal. If you want to learn more about how to play math spoons, you can find that info here.
If you haven’t heard of logic puzzles, you’re in for a treat! They can also be called brain teasers. Students figure out what each object is equal to and use that knowledge to solve the whole puzzle. These are great to improve reasoning skills, memory, and concentration. I use these during math centers on a monthly basis to challenge my fast finishers to go above and beyond. They’re easy to assign, quick to check, and perfect for students who need those extra enrichment activities. Read more about the benefits of logic puzzles here.
What in the world is a balance beam? It’s an activity where students use their logical reasoning skills to figure out how to make the sides of the balance beam equal using the clues provided. Students slowly figure out what each object equals and use that knowledge to figure out what the next balance beam equals. This game requires patience and critical thinking skills which is the perfect enrichment activity. Find out more about balance beam games here.
I use error analysis enrichment activities in my classroom on a weekly basis. They’re great for deep thinking, number talks, and classroom discussions where we really dig into the thinking going on. You can do this digitally or in-person pretty easily. I have used error analysis in math centers, on task cards, as a whole group number talk, and so much more.
Error analysis shows the teacher what students are thinking about when solving math problems and what causes them to choose an answer that is incorrect. When students analyze common errors, they can see incorrect ways to solve and improve their procedural knowledge in the process. This enrichment strategy helps students identify their misconceptions and points students towards the correct understanding. Find lots of enrichment activities here.