Tag Archives: review games

MCTM 2013 Spring Conference Session

Here are my slides (hopefully I have linked them correctly) for you to view. Also, here is my livebinders link to all of the things I am going to talk about/demonstrate for your viewing pleasure. Please comment here or email beckyrahm at if you have any questions or comments. Also – please leave a comment of one of your favorite ways to review with students.

For those of you who happen upon this and were not at MCTM – my session title was “Review Activities – Besides a Worksheet” – Students need more practice, ut are bored with worksheets? Come and discover ways for kids to practice besides a worksheet. Presented at 8:15 on Saturday morning (note to self – if I ever decide to present again, send in some money with my application to try and avoid the Saturday morning, 8:15 session! ha)

Update – after the session – thanks to all who came (and didn’t volunteer – note to self, bring calculator along next time so I can use random number generator to pick volunteers and I need to ALWAYS volunteer in a session where one is asked for, so the presenter doesn’t feel awkward – haha). If you weren’t able to attend the session, the PowerPoint probably won’t help as much because it was really just for me to remember what I was going to talk about next (in other words I just didn’t read from the slides), but everything I did talk about is referenced on the livebinder site linked above (with probably an even better explanation than I gave). Also I will keep updating the livebinder when I find other great ideas to steal, use. Or keep checking my blog.

Also could someone post in the comments the game ideas that were shared by attendees, I know there were some great ones that I was excited about, but with it being Saturday morning, my nerves about the session, and me not writing them down, I seem to have forgotten them. My bad. So post a comment if you would please (or if you weren’t there please still just comment on your favorite review activity). Thanks.

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Posted by on April 27, 2013 in Uncategorized


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So many great new things that I have discovered been made aware of since I have entered the mathblogosphere and this is my new favorite one – Tarsia Puzzles.  Yay – I had never heard of such a thing either, although after researching them I had seen a couple of them before and had actually printed one off of the internet a couple years ago for my kids to do, but I never knew how easy they were to make.      Here is a pic from pinterest until my kids actually do a puzzle tomorrow.  What I like is that I am able to differentiate the problems that I give the students based on the puzzle I give.  I’m going to make at least 3 and have each on its own color.

The link where you can download this great software FOR FREE can be found here.   And you can find some pre-made tarsia puzzles at Mr. Barton’s page.  Only bad thing is there isn’t a MAC version yet.  : (  So looks like all of this work will be done at home.

I will update with how the activities go after we actually do them tomorrow.  I’m so excited.

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Posted by on October 8, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Review Game ideas

Just got done with the most amazing professional development opportunity.    Global Math Department (on is basically a weekly professional development opportunity where different presenters discuss different topics this week.  This week was my first experience with it and the topic was math review games (always a good one to have an arsenal of ideas for, so was very excited!)  I was so excited I even set an alarm on my phone for when I forgot about it, but then I actually remembered!  For those of you who don’t know me – IT’S  A MIRACLE!

First presenter (who we could see on the computer btw – very cool) discussed I have, who has.  I have done this game before but I liked the idea of  having the students have more than one card so they don’t think they are “off the hook” once their card has been used.

2nd presenter discussed a bidding review game (my sound went out for a little bit on this one so I don’t know all of the details, but I picked up the gist.  You give the students a set of problems (presenter had 16) and an answer for each problem.  Some of the answers listed are correct, some are not.  At home that night students need to decide which answers are correct and which are incorrect.  They come to class the next day and form teams.  The team decides which they think are right and start with 1000 points.  Teams then bid on questions that they think are right, but they don’t want to “win” the bid on questions that are wrong because they will loose 500 points at the end of the game if they end up with a “lemon” question.  The winning team is the team that ends up with the most correct questions won from the bidding.  If there is a tie, then look at how many points they have left.  Once again if they end up with a lemon question (wrong answer) from a bid, they loose the question and loose 500 points.     I see this as a great way to get kids engaged and also a great way to do error analyses with the wrong answers since you will deliberately make a mistake that students commonly make – just like those nasty standardized tests do (wouldn’t it be great if the answer choices in math were 10, George Washington, verb, and dog – or at least that what my kids think)

3rd presenter was “risk”.  You give the kids a set of questions and they start with 100 points.  After they answer the question they wager some/all/none of their 100 points based on how confident they are with their answer.  If they get it right, they increase their points by their wager amount.  If they get it wrong, they decrease.  Someone in the chat referred it to a lot of rounds of double jeopardy.

4th presenter was very cool and could easily be adapted to a review or a worksheet.  Basically it involves the kids making a clock with only 12, 3, 6, and 9 labeled.  Then you have them take 2 minutes to walk around and make “appointments” with other students. Once they are done making appointments they have a seat (so you know who is left). Then you start by saying it’s time for your 12 o’clock appointment.  They find their partner and you tell them what problems to work, like 12-18.  Then after a certain amount of time – she suggested you use a time – it becomes time for their next “appointment” and they find their next partner.  She also stressed that you should be random with the problems you assign so kids don’t work ahead.  Whatever doesn’t get done in appointment time or doesn’t get assigned becomes homework.  Fun little twist on doing partner review work I thought.

5th presenter was “swat it” – I can just see my 8th graders now!  She used this with vocabulary but could also use math facts, graphs, equations, solving one step equations, words into expressions (wow – the ideas just coming out of my fingers!)  You have choices projected onto the wall and have the word you are trying to find at the top.  Two teams line up behind a certain line (put tape on the floor) and the 2 people in front have fly swatters.  Once they see the word at the top, they need to try and be the first person to “swat” the matching definition or whatever.  What is great about fly swatters – if they were really close, one HAS to be on the bottom (she stresses to kids to leave the swatter on the wall after they have swatted.)  She also stresses that teams will loose a point if they swat something (mainly someone!) with the flyswatter.  I’m just wondering if I could resist swatting the students – jk!  We talked about how she uses a powerpoint and projects onto a wall, could also just write the definitions on the board (but what was nice about the powerpoint is she would change the position of the choices every so often to keep kids paying attention.)  Not for sure what I would do since I project onto a smartboard, but I’ll have to come up with something cuz I’m totally in love with this.  Here is the link given for swat it

6th presenter – smartboard game – basically divide the class into two teams.  Roll a die to see what team goes first and then ask a question.  If the team that is up gets the question right they get a point, if they can explain how they got the answer they get another point.  If they get it wrong the other team can steal the points.

I kind of do a version like this when I play Jeopardy.  2 teams and the kids answer the questions on their clickers (aka Smart response systems).  One team chooses ABCD the other team chooses EFGH.  Let’s say the correct answer is A/E, whichever letter has the higher percentage getting it right gets the points for that question.  Nice thing about this is everyone needs to answer the question and I can see what percentage of the class gets it right immediately!  Love my clickers – I inserted a pic in case you don’t know what I’m talking about!

Holy cow that got long – but I wanted to write a summary before I forgot!  What was really cool is that most of the presenters were bloggers that I have been faithfully stealing ideas from following since I started reading blogs and I actually got to hear their voices and see them as well as steal hear some more great ideas.  Next week is on statistics.  Don’t deal with that as much, but these people are so knowledgeable/helpful I think I’ll hang out anyway and maybe their awesomeness will permeate through the screen!

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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Uncategorized



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

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Posted by on August 29, 2012 in Uncategorized