Happy Labor Day weekend to everyone! I hope all of you who have already been in the trenches for several weeks are enjoying your long weekend. To those of you starting school within the next couple of weeks, I hope your year gets off to a great start.
Friday, the day before the holiday, I didn't want to start anything new in my Math Models classes so I played a little game that worked really well. I thought I'd share it with you. I had each student draw a 4 x 4 grid on a piece of notebook paper and number each space randomly with the numbers 1-16. I had a jar on my desk with the numbers 1-16 on little scraps of paper. We have been reviewing solving linear equations of all kinds, so I prepared a list of about 50 random equations to solve. I put an equation on the board and everyone worked it while I watched. I then worked and gave the correct answer. After I gave the answer, I drew a number out of my jar. Everyone who had the correct answer, got to "X" out that number on the grid. We played until someone got 4 "X"'s in a row. Did some cheat, and mark out a number when they really got it wrong?, probably, but for this game it doesn't matter. I was just really trying to keep them on task and doing something productive the day before a holiday.
I thought it worked great because I didn't need any materials. You could do this little game with any topic. All you need are some questions prepared in advance and some cut up numbers. in a jar. Also, the smart kids don't really have an advantage over the ones who struggle because they placed the numbers randomly on the grid. Everyone had a chance to win. They were really into it and wanted to know if we could play the game again sometime. It really surprised me that these classes got into the game so much. Of course, there were a couple who never do anything anyway that weren't really all that enthused, but for the most part, I got excellent participation.