I had a blast on Thursday playing the game show host for our game of ... Risk Your Beginning Algebra Skills1. I showed my students the fabulous prizes they could win (Blink, pentominoes, or 3 burnable cds), and used my announcer voice instead of my math mama voice.
I'm giving an early final on Tuesday so they can have two chances (the official final exam period is the next week). We had to start reviewing this week, which is usually sort of boring for me. This totally changed it for me, though I can't guarantee it was a better review for them. I do think the high energy keeps people going.
Most of the problems featured in the game came from their practice finals, and they were supposed to do all of the problems on their practice final before coming to class on Thursday. But of course most of them hadn't. We have a high school housed at our college called Middle College High School, and I have a number of high school students in two of my three classes. They have a class called Early College Seminar, where they get help with their homework. So they had all done their practice finals. And the winners of the game in the first two classes were all MCHS students.
I didn't want to just have one of the students who always does well be the winner, so I got prizes for two winners. One for the high score, and one for the 'most improved'. For that, I gave each person a 'multiplier' to multiply their final score by. I got the multiplier by taking 100 divided by their grade so far (a number under 100). The best students multiplied by 1. People who haven't done their retakes had multipliers anywhere from 1.4 to 8.
In the fist class, they both chose Blink. In the second, they both wanted pentominoes. In the third class, a boyfriend and girlfriend both won, so they got Blink and pentominoes.
Here's the gamesheet2:
I'll try this at the beginning of next semester for reviewing some of the stuff I think they should already know.
1I blogged a few weeks ago about how this game was used for a lecture on pi. I just now found the presenter's name. It was Janet Teeguarden.
2Email me at mathanthologyeditor on gmail if you'd like the .doc file.