Friday, March 6, 2015

Math Madness - Revamped

So, as I sit here on our second snow day in a row ... I'm feeling a bit stir crazy.
But, I've been productive. Last year, I created an activity for my students to practice math skills before our state testing began. See my original post here.
This year, the rigor in our testing has changed, and therefor I need to up the rigor of the game questions. So, I've been scouring the internet for released test items. I find it best to use released items instead of creating my own. This way, the students are exposed to the language they will encounter. So, yesterday's snow day was spent creating two rounds of "Math Madness". Here is what it looks like:

Here's how it works:
First, I ask a student to bring in a small basketball net we can use. I prefer the kind with suction cups because its sticks right to our white board (you can also use a trash can). Then, I put my students into teams. I prefer mixed ability teams. Students get a score card for their team. I take all of my question cards and attach them to construction paper and laminate them. Teams come up to the front and choose their cards. As a team, they solve the problem. The most important thing is that EVERY student does the work on their own scratch paper. This way, one student isn't doing all of the work while the other get nothing out of the activity. Once they feel they have successfully solved the problem, they bring it to me to check.
  • If they are correct, I mark the points on their score sheet. Then, each player on their teams gets a change to shoot a basket and earn extra points (one point for each basket made). 
  • If they are wrong, they do not get points or a chance to shoot, BUT they must go back and try the problem again.
At the end the points are tallied and the winning team is announced.  I have not decided on a prize for the winning team yet, and I might let my students vote on a prize. My end goal is I want my students to all be engaged in review. There is nothing more boring that handing them packet after packet. It not only frustrates them, but burns them out before they actually have to sit down for the state testing. I want them to learn, but I also want them to have a little fun. Last year I let them chew gum every time we were reviewing, and that was a motivation in itself!

I'm working on something now to review for reading, but I'm having some trouble brainstorming. Maybe something will come to to me today!

How do you review for your state tests? I'd love to hear other ideas.

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