Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Stuff Worth Sharing: The Game of 24
When I was student teaching, my cooperating teacher had a copy of the game 24. When a class period unexpectedly finished 5 minutes early, we would pull out the game and put a 24 card on the board to solve. If you're not familiar with the game, use the four given digits plus any mathematical operators to make the number 24.
My current students had never played this before, but we've been playing Witzzle every single Wednesday this year. As soon as I explained that 24 was like Witzzle but with four numbers that always equaled 24, they were ready to go!
Why am I blogging about this? In my search of math-y activities to engage my students with post-EOI testing, I found a PDF file with two pre-made pages of 24 games. This file has a page of Level 1 questions and a page of Level 2 questions.
My students spent much less time completing these than I anticipated. One student would figure out one of the 12 puzzles and share the solution with all those sitting around them. This ended up taking around 10 minutes of class instead of the 30 or so I was hoping for.
If I was going to do this with my students again, I would put them into teams and make it into a competition. This would encourage small groups of students to work together collaboratively instead of just trying to share answers with others.
This activity led to some great discussion about the order of operations. I think I might do this activity around the same time as order of operation review instead of waiting until the end of the year next time.
I'm thinking that next year I want to incorporate more brain breaks into my classes. I want to occasionally pause class to give students a minute to re-energize. I'm wondering if occasionally sticking a single 24 game into my Smartboard files would work. Any other ideas regarding this would be greatly appreciated!