Math = Love: Taking The Flyswatter Game Up A Notch

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Taking The Flyswatter Game Up A Notch

Remember my giant coordinate plane?  I am just so ridiculously proud of this thing.  I love it.

Giant Coordinate Plane

I'll be honest.  Not all of my kids thought it was as cool as I did.  A bunch of them had a "Ms. Hagan, really?" expression on their faces when I introduced it to the class.  But, I'm used to that expression by now.  There were also the students who stayed after class to graph points by standing on the coordinate plane because they wanted to have a turn even though we ran out of time.

Remember the fly swatter game?

Well, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to combine the two.  We played the fly swatter game on the giant coordinate plane.  Two students would come up to the coordinate plane.  They could stand anywhere around the coordinate plane that they wanted.  I would show them an ordered pair.  (I reused my flies that I had hung around the room for this.)  The first one to slap the correct place on the coordinate plane with their fly swatter won.

Coordinate Grid Fly Swatter Game
I had to make several rules to keep students from just slapping random places.  For example, only their first slap counted.  If they slapped the wrong place, they could not win the round.  The competition was intense.

This activity definitely worked better for my smaller classes.  I even turned this into a quiz for my smallest Algebra 1 class of 10 students.  Each student had to come up to the coordinate plane.  I asked them three questions similar to these: 1. Show me where (-3, 2) is on the coordinate plane.  2.  Show me where (0, 4) is on the coordinate plane.  3.  Choose a point in the fourth quadrant.  Show it to me, and tell me its ordered pair.


  1. I wanted to tell you I love your blog, despite this being my thirtieth year of teaching and I am probably older than your mother, I use a lot of your ideas. Luckily we have a tiled floor, so I just use electrical tape for the axis and I have an instant coordinate grid. I have the whole vacation to think about using the fly shatters, though. I am just picturing my classes swatting each other. Enjoy the break!

  2. I can't wait to use this and your fly idea when I teach coordinate planes to my 6th graders!! Thanks for all the AWESOME ideas!


    1. You are very welcome! If my high school students loved it, I'm sure your 6th graders will love it!