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GAME IT UP!
WAKE UP YOUR REMEDIAL MATH CLASS
DO YOU USE GAMES IN YOUR CLASSROOM?
• Games can add excitement and energy to the class
• Games can help your students focus
• Games can also make a class noisy and slightly less controlled
• How you play the game can make all the difference to the type of learning that takes place.
POWERPOINT JEOPARDY
• You’ll need an instructor computer with a projector, or a Smartboard.
• You can use my example, or edit it for a completely different set of topics.
• Great for a review class
• If the sounds is up too loud, it’s also a great way to annoy the instructor in the next room. 
• How do you play it so that the whole class has to work?
• Wait until the whole class has completed the problem, then ask for a show of
hands of who would like to say the answer.
OR
• One side of the room competes against the other side. A random person is called
on each round to say the answer.
INTERNET GAMES
• Here’s an example of an internet game on the Pythagorean Theorem: http://www.math-
play.com/Pythagorean-Theorem-Jeopardy/Pythagorean-Theorem-Jeopardy.html
• How to play?
• One side of the room can compete against the other side. You call on a random person
each round.
• Can the person ask for help from a teammate? Or maybe they work in pairs from the
start, and you call on a random pair.
• If you just want pairs to compete, and you have more than
20 students in your class, you’ll need a way to keep score.
Plastic gold coins are a fun, cheap and easy way to do this.
INTERNET GAMES
• I love this parabola one with Angry Birds, because you can play it as a whole class exploration:
http://www.teachmathematics.net/page/16049/angry-birds-1
• Most of the games out there are pretty basic, not flashy, not awesome, BUT your students
will add to the excitement. Caution: you will have to wade through much that is too young or
silly.
ANALOG GAMES THAT YOU CAN PLAY
The spread of a rumor:
Round Do you know
the rumor?
Round 0 NO
Round 1
Round 2
Round 3
Round 4
Round 5
• Each student has a card like this.
• ONE student has a card marked with a YES on
round zero, meaning they know the rumor!
• Each round, students get up, mill around, and show
their card to two other students. They mark their
card with a YES if they see a card that has a YES on
it.
• If they have a yes on their card, for every round
after that, they get to write YES.
• When you are done with round 5 or 6 (when
everyone knows the rumor) , ask the class how
many knew the rumor in round 0, round 1, etc.
• You will get a table in which the number that know
the rumor roughly doubles each time, showing
exponential growth.
ANALOG GAMES THAT YOU CAN PLAY
The Coin game:
This envelope contains pennies and dimes.
The number of pennies is twice the number of
dimes.
The total amount of money in the envelope is
$0.60.
Rules: Your team must solve the problem using algebra, with everyone in the group showing all the
work to get the answer.
Once your team thinks it has the correct solution, open the envelope with your professor watching.
If you have the correct answer, keep the money.
If you have the wrong answer, give back the money.
Winners: in the end, the team that has the most money wins!
HOW CAN YOU MAKE A GAME, FAST?
Add an element of randomness and you have a game
• Cards
• Dice
A QUICK AND EASY CARD GAME
• Each group of 3 students gets 10 cards from a deck, pulled out at random.
• Write a polynomial multiplication problem on the board, like (x + 5)(x -2)
• If the group simplifies this correctly, they can discard any cards in their hand that equal or add up to the last
number. Royal cards are worth ten.
• For example, (x + 5)(x -2) = x2 + 3x – 10, so each group that gets this correct can either discard a royal card, a
ten card, or cards adding up to 10.
• After students do a bunch of problems like this, a bonus round can be added where if students do a
particularly difficult problem correctly, they can discard one card of any kind from their hand.
• Consider modifying this! Maybe black cards could be positive and red cards could be negative…. Or maybe you
could use a modification of this game in an arithmetic class.
USING ONLINE DICE
• Virtual dice: http://www.bgfl.org/bgfl/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/ks1/maths/dice/index.htm
• Students can work in pairs on a review sheet. When the pair gets 4 problems correct, they can come up
to the class computer to roll the die, then advance along a game board you have drawn.
• You can customize the die so that there are some negatives (moving back) and zeros (stay where you
are). This gives the weaker or slower students a chance to be on par with the faster ones.
Start Finish
QUESTIONS?
KathleenOffenholley@yahoo.com
CUNY Games Network: http://games.commons.gc.cuny.edu/
We connect educators from every campus and discipline at CUNY who are interested in games,
simulations, and other forms of interactive teaching. We seek to facilitate the pedagogical uses
of both digital and non-digital games, improve student success, and encourage research and
scholarship in the developing field of games-based learning.

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Game it up! Introducing Game Based Learning for Developmental Math

  • 1. GAME IT UP! WAKE UP YOUR REMEDIAL MATH CLASS
  • 2. DO YOU USE GAMES IN YOUR CLASSROOM? • Games can add excitement and energy to the class • Games can help your students focus • Games can also make a class noisy and slightly less controlled • How you play the game can make all the difference to the type of learning that takes place.
  • 3. POWERPOINT JEOPARDY • You’ll need an instructor computer with a projector, or a Smartboard. • You can use my example, or edit it for a completely different set of topics. • Great for a review class • If the sounds is up too loud, it’s also a great way to annoy the instructor in the next room.  • How do you play it so that the whole class has to work? • Wait until the whole class has completed the problem, then ask for a show of hands of who would like to say the answer. OR • One side of the room competes against the other side. A random person is called on each round to say the answer.
  • 4. INTERNET GAMES • Here’s an example of an internet game on the Pythagorean Theorem: http://www.math- play.com/Pythagorean-Theorem-Jeopardy/Pythagorean-Theorem-Jeopardy.html • How to play? • One side of the room can compete against the other side. You call on a random person each round. • Can the person ask for help from a teammate? Or maybe they work in pairs from the start, and you call on a random pair. • If you just want pairs to compete, and you have more than 20 students in your class, you’ll need a way to keep score. Plastic gold coins are a fun, cheap and easy way to do this.
  • 5. INTERNET GAMES • I love this parabola one with Angry Birds, because you can play it as a whole class exploration: http://www.teachmathematics.net/page/16049/angry-birds-1 • Most of the games out there are pretty basic, not flashy, not awesome, BUT your students will add to the excitement. Caution: you will have to wade through much that is too young or silly.
  • 6. ANALOG GAMES THAT YOU CAN PLAY The spread of a rumor: Round Do you know the rumor? Round 0 NO Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 • Each student has a card like this. • ONE student has a card marked with a YES on round zero, meaning they know the rumor! • Each round, students get up, mill around, and show their card to two other students. They mark their card with a YES if they see a card that has a YES on it. • If they have a yes on their card, for every round after that, they get to write YES. • When you are done with round 5 or 6 (when everyone knows the rumor) , ask the class how many knew the rumor in round 0, round 1, etc. • You will get a table in which the number that know the rumor roughly doubles each time, showing exponential growth.
  • 7. ANALOG GAMES THAT YOU CAN PLAY The Coin game: This envelope contains pennies and dimes. The number of pennies is twice the number of dimes. The total amount of money in the envelope is $0.60. Rules: Your team must solve the problem using algebra, with everyone in the group showing all the work to get the answer. Once your team thinks it has the correct solution, open the envelope with your professor watching. If you have the correct answer, keep the money. If you have the wrong answer, give back the money. Winners: in the end, the team that has the most money wins!
  • 8. HOW CAN YOU MAKE A GAME, FAST? Add an element of randomness and you have a game • Cards • Dice
  • 9. A QUICK AND EASY CARD GAME • Each group of 3 students gets 10 cards from a deck, pulled out at random. • Write a polynomial multiplication problem on the board, like (x + 5)(x -2) • If the group simplifies this correctly, they can discard any cards in their hand that equal or add up to the last number. Royal cards are worth ten. • For example, (x + 5)(x -2) = x2 + 3x – 10, so each group that gets this correct can either discard a royal card, a ten card, or cards adding up to 10. • After students do a bunch of problems like this, a bonus round can be added where if students do a particularly difficult problem correctly, they can discard one card of any kind from their hand. • Consider modifying this! Maybe black cards could be positive and red cards could be negative…. Or maybe you could use a modification of this game in an arithmetic class.
  • 10. USING ONLINE DICE • Virtual dice: http://www.bgfl.org/bgfl/custom/resources_ftp/client_ftp/ks1/maths/dice/index.htm • Students can work in pairs on a review sheet. When the pair gets 4 problems correct, they can come up to the class computer to roll the die, then advance along a game board you have drawn. • You can customize the die so that there are some negatives (moving back) and zeros (stay where you are). This gives the weaker or slower students a chance to be on par with the faster ones. Start Finish
  • 11. QUESTIONS? KathleenOffenholley@yahoo.com CUNY Games Network: http://games.commons.gc.cuny.edu/ We connect educators from every campus and discipline at CUNY who are interested in games, simulations, and other forms of interactive teaching. We seek to facilitate the pedagogical uses of both digital and non-digital games, improve student success, and encourage research and scholarship in the developing field of games-based learning.

Editor's Notes

  1. Take poll if they use games or not. Ask them about what’s great about using games, what’s the downside. Tell the story of the class that would not focus, until I brought out the cards.
  2. Show my Jeopardy example, and how to edit it. You can also find various version of this all over the internet. This one is my favorite because it has the music and great animation. Make every student work on every question, then when everyone’s ready, call on a “random” person to answer. Split the class in half and pit one side of the room against the other, again calling on a “random” person to answer. When I did this, one side of the room got through a whole category without a mistake, so then I had the other side play the next category.
  3. $7 for 144 of them!
  4. Rehearse it first! Students will not understand the rules unless you do a dry run. Explain that this is also how a virus spreads, also how social media (word of mouth) advertising works.