This time of year can be difficult to keep the motivation going, but I recently discovered these cool FREE PowerPoint games that add a little edge I’ve been needing to get my students working. We are studying Systems of Equations, so the problems are time-consuming. My students want instant gratification when they complete problems, so I’ve been combining practice with this Sunken Treasure game.
I assigned my students five problems. I told them after they finished the first problem correctly, they could hunt for treasure. So completing one problem = one click. I used to have wireless mouse, but it’s gone missing, so the student now walks up to my desk and uses the mouse attached to my laptop. The game board is projected up on the front white-board. I actually like the wire mouse better because it allows students the chance to stand up and move with purpose across the classroom. It’s exciting for the class to watch for a second a see what number they pick and if they find the treasure.
After they finish two more problems, I check their answers again, and if they get them right, they get two more clicks. Then after the last three problems, they get three more clicks. I liked this break-down because it allowed for me to frequently check in with students before they practiced wrong. Making them do a couple problems between checks also meant that I was able to help students that were struggling and didn’t just spend all my time running around checking work. As students finish, I appoint them to “checkers” who can also verify correct answers.
If they find treasure, they are rewarded with a Dum-Dum, and they get to pick the next game board. This version of the game has 10 different game boards, which was plenty to make it through a class. I averaged about four winners per class. Make sure to keep a list of which game boards you pick.
I love practice structures like this that can be used for any classwork assignment and require no extra preparation on my part – except having some “treasure” available for the winners. Anything that keeps the kids engaged is a win in my book – especially as we enter the holiday season where distractions are everywhere.
Thanks Mandy for sharing this creative practice method with us! I look forward to using it in my classroom after Christmas Break! If you liked what you read, please leave a comment to thank Mandy for sharing her experience and expertise with us. Also, be sure to check out her blog: Math Dyal.