Sunday, July 15, 2012

Made 4 Math #3- Feeling Lucky!

I love to have a variety of review games ready to play so this week's Made 4 Math activity is all about games.

 I made a new review board game that I am calling "The Lucky Seven"- which I will probably use as a review for Chapter 7 once we are ready for it. I love to use different review games before each chapter test and having a wide variety of games to choose from gives me lots of options plus it helps to keep my students' interest. For this game I plan to have students working on their personal whiteboards but discussing with their partners their solutions, questions they might have over a certain problem, etc. before I ask for one of the team members to display answers. If students answer a question correctly they will get to select one of the cards from the game board. Cards have a variety of outcomes such as; Add 3 to your score, Add 5 to your score, Subtract 4 from your score, Subtract 3 from another teams score, Double your score, Cut your score in half, etc., enough for about 28 cards. I usually give a winning team 5 bonus points on a test, 2nd place 3 bonus points, 3rd place 2 bonus points, but you could give candy prizes or free homework passes, or whatever works best for you. It was nice to complete this activity this week and have it ready to add to my other favorite review activities. My goal is to have enough variety so that I never have to repeat a game over the course of a year unless it is demanded by my students. The following are my favorite review activities to use with students- the ones that they always ask to play again.

Math Poker - My middle school students love this! I love it because there is little to no prep needed and the activity keeps everyone involved and working on the math. They love it when someone goes bankrupt and has to come to me (the bank) for a loan and what I have them do to earn it. (singing or dancing is usually involved!) I am always amazed at the amount of work students willingly do for this review game yet complain when given a few practice problems for homework!

Station Reviews- Everyone has versions of this great review activity. I love this type of review because it is self-checking as students move from station-to-station in their small groups. It is also a great activity to leave for subs (especially subs that might not be familiar with the math lesson) as students stay busy for the whole class period and are able to check their work on their own allowing me to help those students who might need extra help.

I Have- Who Has? Individual Folder Review Activity- I use manila folders for this activity with the answer on the outside (the "I have"), and the next problem (the "who has?") on the inside of the folder. I start out the students with a sheet of paper that has one of the different answers at the top of their paper. Students start with that folder- work the problem on the inside of the folder and then look for the folder that has the answer to that question. Again, this activity keeps middle school students moving around the room and busy at the same time. It is also somewhat self-checking because if their answer is nowhere to be found they know they have done something wrong, which allows me to move in and assist them as needed.

Math Whammy is a game that my middle school students love. (Warning- Things can get loud!) I love it because they get so excited and this review gives me a chance to get rid of all the junk I collect over the year like old pencils, paper, etc. This idea from Heather Hart was one I got at an NCTM Conference several years ago. I guarantee your students will get a great review and have a blast at the same time with this one!

Ask the Expert or as Kate Nowak f(t) calls it Speed Dating. I love this activity because it keeps kids moving around as well as gives them a chance to explain the math to their peers. I have also used this activity with my staff at our end-of-the-year Job- Embedded Staff Development Project Share. No chance to get bored during this activity!

Tarsia- I love these puzzles. You can have students work on these individually or in groups. Free and self-checking. Great activity to leave for substitutes if needed.

Survivor- Balloon Pop Version- My students love this activity.  I got this one from Miscalcul8. My students really get into it- the teams gang up against one another just like in Survivor. This is another activity that can get really loud- but in a good way.

Facing Math mixes math with art. These books can be purchased and you can pick the level of math and the lessons that fit your needs. There is a new facing math book that I purchased this past year at the NCTM Math Conference that ends up being a picture of a famous mathematician when completed. I like dividing up the problems from a facing math worksheet among a small group of students. The answers they get for their problem tells them what type of drawing they need to add to complete their groups' picture, i.e. hat, hair style, eyes, colors, etc. When all put together they have a picture of their famous mathematician. I like it because it is easy to prepare- keeps students engaged with good review problems- and it self-checking. (The teacher knows exactly what the end result should look like.) Students love it because it is something different.

I am really looking forward to TMC12 this coming week in St. Louis and meeting so many of the teacher bloggers I follow. Have a safe trip everyone!


  1. Holy Moly!!! This is an AWESOME post! I just made an ENTIRE new Pinterest board just from your post! :) Thank you so much!

  2. Ditto druin. I'm trying to figure out how to save this post so that I remember it (and can find it!) when the time comes. But maybe I'll just count on druin to do that for me. :)

    Thanks for the awesome ideas!

  3. This post is by far the best collection of review games I've found all neatly provided together. You've been added to my favorites and I can't wait to try these out in my classes!

  4. AWESOME!! I'm definitely referring back to this post throughout the year...

    I've used "I Have...Who Has..." before a few times. The only trouble I find is that I want to make sure the students have 2 cards to keep them engaged. When my class sizes change every year, that's tough.

    Anyways, GREAT JOB!!!

  5. What a fabulous collection of ideas! I work with other content areas, so I know these review games can be adapted to other grade levels and subjects. I have saved your post and will be sharing! Thanks so much!

  6. I love the Whammy Game! My students will LOVE it!

  7. These ideas are GREAT!!! So glad I stumbled onto your site and searched around!!!
    Hodges Herald

  8. Best approach.i appreciated you.Online study is very beneficial and time saving.i think this is very important thing for every one. You have done good job to share helpful article. Now i would like to share a useful website for the Children who weak in Math, they learn math fast and free of cost. See the enjoy it.
    Math Practice Games

  9. Wonderful ideas!! So many great ideas. Math is always way more fun when it's a game! It makes it more memorable!!