Monthly Archives: August 2012

Basketball review game reflection

Last week I tried a game to help the students review operations with integers (positive and negative) – they next day we were calculating slope from two points and I figured the review would be good.  I used basketball.  Split the class in half.  Put a problem on the board, ex. -4-(-3)     Each student was to write down the question on their paper and write down what they thought the answer was.  After everyone was done I would use the random number generator on my graphing calculator and pick a number (each desk was labeled in my mind with a number).  Let’s say number 3 was picked.  The third person in each group would then have to tell me their answer.  If they got it right they could “shoot” the basketball (aka s0ft, squishy ball) into the basket (aka trash can).  If they made it  they got points for their team.  If they had the question wrong they did not get to shoot.

Couple good things I did that I will continue – let the students choose how many “points” to shoot for. Stand one desk away get 1 point, 2 desks = 2 points, etc.  That way those that didn’t consider themselves super athletic still felt they could participate.  I will continue to have students write down the problem and their answer – then if I wanted to I could have them turn their sheet in and I would have a mini formative assessment on how they did.

Things I changed in the process.  – After 1st hour I changed the scoring to if they missed a basket they lost that many points.  I figured since we were working with negative numbers this would be good practice as well.  BREAKTHROUGH MOMENT – kids understood the context of calculating score!  If the score was at -4 and they missed a 6 point shot they could easily say they had -10 p0ints and faster than  if I had written on the board -4 – 10.  And then we discussed what if we had shots worth negative points and you missed (subtracting a negative) – they got that it would be like adding.  So an added bonus to a review game!

Great thing about this game – can be adapted to all concepts.

Changes for the future – a kid volunteered to make a back board for the basket so we could do bank shots – or I might do the class against me!

Fun times in math class – now I just need to come up with (or find online) more review games – cuz now they expect it – what did i do?!?  ha ha

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Uncategorized



1st great idea (of hopefully many more to come)

School started this past Monday. Over the summer I had already decided to go to not grading homework and implementing SBG. Well, that is a gigantic change (but makes complete sense) so I started reading some blogs about SBG. And I learned quickly you can never just look at one topic when you find a great blog – and trust me, I found a lot! So since I found lots of great information I thought I could use a lot of it my classroom right away, and I did.

One post I read was from misscalccul8 (love her blog btw) concerning bell ringers. So the next day I did one. The tip I enjoyed the most was concerning the purple pens – marking the correct answer with a green pen and then giving that student a green pen to help be a “checker” of right answers. Well of course I couldn’t find a bunch of purple pens that night – so I implemented it in my own way. I used my self-inking stamp (much faster) that said “Math Master” that I am going to use once student have mastered a concept in SBG. But of course I only had one, so the student helper thing didn’t quite work. But I LOVED the ease and speed of the stamp.

So during a free moment I went online and looked for a cheap self-inking stamp that I could purchase more of. But I was also thinking as I was walking around checking – kids could tell who got the questions right and who was still learning from their mistakes (big focus of my classroom this year) by if I stamped or not. I didn’t really like that. And then it came to me…….. wait for it……..

THUMBS UP self inking stamp! I can stamp it the correct way (thumbs up) when they have it right, and upside down (thumbs down) when they still need to work on the problem. I can train the helpers to do that as well.  And every paper will get stamped every time someone looks at.  Other students won’t know which way the thumb was facing.  Added bonus – I can see how many attempts it took a student to get the correct answer by how many thumbs down stamps they have before the thumbs up. And now my math master stamp is still saved for SBG.

Usually I’m a borrower of ideas (and I kind of am with this one) so I’m proud that I thought of this one on my own. Although there are probably 1001 other teachers out there that do this but at this point…I don’t care! : )

Please add any improvements to the idea or any pitfalls that you could see happen.

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 25, 2012 in Uncategorized



Hello world!

Hello world (or the five people that might read this)!  This is my first attempt at blogging after only two weeks of entering the blogging world as a reader.  My main purpose of blogging is a way for me to keep track of:

1) great ideas I find reading the MANY great math blogs that I have found

2)my first attempt at SBG and not grading homework.  I AM SO EXCITED!

3)my reflections of how the news things I’m implementing are working/not working (hopefully more of the first) so I can remember them for next year!

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 25, 2012 in Uncategorized