Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Risk: Betting on Your Expertise

I wrote last year about using a game called Risk to help my students review before a test. Sam Shah wrote about it recently, and today seemed like a good time to try it again, since tomorrow is their big test on trig functions. I had my handout almost done (it was 10 minutes before class), and Word crashed. No, I hadn't saved it...

So I gave them a blank template, and put the problems on the board, mostly from memory. It actually worked better than handing out all the questions at the beginning. It raised the energy level, and kept the best students from working ahead. The best way to do this would be to have the blank template for the students, and one that fills in one question at a time on a powerpoint deck. (But I don't have a smart classroom for this class.)

My students loved it, and worked way harder on the problems than they otherwise would have. I hope their enthusiasm leads them to study enough to do well on the test tomorrow!

Edit: I seem to be getting a lot of credit lately for this game. I learned it at the 2010 AMATYC conference, where Janet Teeguarden used it to spice up her presentation on the history of pi. It's my understanding that she created it. I'm glad all us bloggers are spreading a fun idea.

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