FREE Interactive Review Game for any Grade or Subject

Wow – this year has been crazy!  I have been incredibly busy both in school and out, which is why I haven’t written in sooo long, but since my blog posts about the “Attack” review game I play with my classes continue to be some of my most viewed posts, I thought I’d write a quick post about the new, FREE Interactive version of the game!

For those of you who haven’t read my posts about the old-school version of the game, the premise is simple.  Each team has a castle.  Ask a review question and pick a group to answer.  If they get the question right, they get to attack a couple of the other teams’ castles.  If they get it wrong, I attack their castle.  After 5 attacks, a castle is eliminated, but that team is still in the game – (They can still attack other castles to get revenge!)  The last castle standing is the winner.

The game is a HUGE hit in every class I have ever played in and I have heard from over 100 other teachers that the same is true for their classes….and now it’s even better with the brand new interactive version!

For the interactive version, each team has a sand castle.  You can attack a castle by clicking on the screen when a plane holding a bucket of water is flying above the sand castle you want to attack.  (If you have an interactive whiteboard that supports touch you could even have students throw a koosh ball at the board instead of clicking to carry out the attacks!)  Teams also have the option of rebuilding their castle instead of attacking another sand castle when they get a question right.

The FREE version of the game has all of the features of the full game, but allows only 2 teams.  The full game offers the option to play with up to 5 teams.

If you try out the game with your students, please let me know what you think of it!  I hope your students enjoy it as much as mine do!!

(I am really hoping that I can find the time to blog more regularly this Spring, too, so I hope to be back soon with another post!)

Thanks for reading,

Christina

 

 

 

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New Review Game: Try it Free and Win the Game of your Choice

Claw Machine Game gif

I love playing games in my math classes! Here are just a few of the many benefits of good review games:

  • they are a great way to practice any type of skill
  • students love them
  • students are engaged
  • games encourage collaboration among students

I have found, though, that the key to keeping students engaged and enjoying games is to switch them up frequently.  No matter how fun a game may be the first few times you play it, the students will eventually get bored with it if it is the ONLY game you ever play with them.  Having a good variety of games to pull from really makes a difference in keeping up student enthusiasm and engagement levels.  Some of my go to games include Bingo, Jeopardy-style games, Attack, and standard whiteboard games, but I am always looking for new ones to add to the mix, which is why I teamed up with my husband again to create some new, fun interactive review games!

We thought it would be fun to bring some arcade-style fun into the classroom so we created a Claw Machine Review Game.  It can be played in teams or non-competitively.  (I tend to teach competitive students so I plan to use the team-mode with my classes).

negative fractions claw machine pic2

There are 5 different categories in a game, which are listed on little cards along the bottom of the claw machine.  The claw (crane?) moves back and forth in the machine.  Have a student either toss a koosh ball at the interactive whiteboard if you have one that supports touch or simply click with a mouse to stop the crane and pick up a card.  It will pull up a random card from the category it is in front of.  Have each group come up with an answer and then reveal the actual answer.  Award points to teams with correct answers and either subtract points or do nothing to teams with incorrect answers.  Once all questions from a category have been asked, the category card will disappear from the machine.

claw machine decimals pic3.160725013220

You can also adjust scores at any time by clicking the little +/- button on the bottom right-hand corner.  (One idea that could add to the competition/excitement would be to subtract points from a team that doesn’t successfully pull up a card when they toss the ball at the screen).

At the end of the game, the final team scores and standings are displayed.

claw machine decimals pic4.160725013220

You can play a full game for FREE to try it out to see if you like the idea & set-up of the game!  Just click on the picture below to play the free Demo Game.  (It should open in a new tab right in your browser).

claw machine demo game

If you try out the free Demo and think that you would like to play a claw machine game with your class this year, simply leave a comment telling me which of the 4 games listed below you would like to win.  On Monday, August 1st a random winner will be selected from everyone who leaves a comment and I will email the winner the game of their choice!  The choices of Claw Machine Games to win are:

  • Algebra Back to School Review (Includes: integer operations, evaluating expressions, simplifying algebraic expressions, properties, and writing expressions)
  • Decimal Operations (Includes: addition, subtraction, multiplication, & division of POSITIVE decimals, along with decimal word problems)
  • Solving Equations (Includes: one-step equations, two-step equations, equations with variables on both sides, multi-step equations, and writing & solving equations)
  • Operations with Negative Fractions (Includes: addition, subtraction, multiplication, & division of positive and negative fractions & mixed numbers, and comparing/ordering negative fractions)

(Click the pictures below for a closer look at each game.)

claw machine algebra back to school cover.160722013228.160725013219  claw machine decimals pic1.160725013220  equations claw machine cover.160722013229  negative fractions claw machine pic1

 

Here is a video preview of the Algebra Back to School Claw Machine Game:

UPDATE 8/1:  This giveaway has ended.  Since there were 9 entries I used a random number generator to select a number between 1 and 9 to choose a winner.  5 came up, so Lisa (the 5th person to comment) is the winner!  

Capture

Thank you so much to everyone who entered and for all the kind comments about the game.  If you’d like to purchase a claw machine game, they are on sale (along with all my other resources) today and tomorrow for 28% off with code BestYear.

Thanks for reading,

Christina

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Improving Number Sense with the Divisibility Rules

I decided to make divisibility my first lesson of the year for 7th grade next year for a couple of different reasons: it is a skill used in many different concepts throughout the year and it really helps promote overall number sense in students.

The divisibility rules (hopefully) help students be less dependent on their calculators, which is an area I am hoping to improve on this year.  So even though it isn’t the most exciting lesson of the year, it is an important one, and I think it’s a good way to begin the year.

I go over the rules for 1 – 10 with my students.  (I used to skip over 7 but every year students ask me if there is a rule for 7….so now I give them the rule along with an example for which the rule could be useful (i.e. 231) but then explain that 9 times out of 10 it is easier to just do the division than it is to use the rule).

In addition to the rules I give students tips, like if a number isn’t divisible by 2 then it isn’t divisible by any other even number.  Tips like that help with divisibility by 8, since that isn’t the most useful rule.  I tell students to only check for divisibility by 8 if (1) the number is divisible by 2 and then (2) if it is divisible by 4.

I made half-sheets the students can stick in their notebook with the divisibility rules.  You can download it free by clicking the picture below.

divisibility rules half sheets

To make the lesson more exciting I enlisted the help of my programmer husband.  He was able to build an interactive divisibility rules game that my students can play on their chromebooks, which I am super excited about!  In the “Divisibility Challenge” game, you can choose which rules you want to practice and then either play for mastery, speed, or just for practice.  I think I am going to originally have students play for mastery, where they need to play until they get 10 questions correct.  I plan to begin class the next day with a speed competition to see who can get the most questions correct in 3 minutes.  Competition always seems to get middle school students involved and engaged!  Click below to try a round free.  (It should open right in your browser).

divisibility demo

If you are interested in getting the full game for your class it can be purchased in my tpt store for $6.

divisibility pic1

 

Thanks for reading,

Christina

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Fun (Free) Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in the Middle School Math Classroom

With my school going from pre-k – 8th grade, I have always felt kind of bad for the “big kids” on Valentine’s Day because it is business for them as usual while the lower grades are having parties.  That’s why I always try to do something a little different than a normal math class, but still academic.  I thought I’d share a couple of the things I have done with my students on Valentine’s Day for other teachers who are looking for easy, free, no-prep ways to bring some holiday fun into their math classes.

valentines day math in the middle

I have shared before that I LOVE problem-solving and give my students word problems daily.  (You can read about my daily problem solving here).  On Valentine’s Day I use a set of Valentine’s word problems on fractions that I made a few years ago instead of the normal problem of the day.  (Download them free from my TpT store by clicking on the picture below).  The word problems are a great challenge because they combine two areas students typically struggle with – fractions and word problems.

valentine freebie pic2

I break the class into groups of 4 and have them work together on the problems.  I make it a contest – either the first group to get all the problems correct wins, or any group that gets at least 5 problems right within a set time limit wins, etc.  Students don’t necessarily love working on word problems (the understatement of the century), but working as a group and making it a contest definitely ups the fun-factor!

After the word problems, play a game of “Attack”, reviewing whatever concept you are currently studying.  On Valentine’s Day I have them draw hearts as the thing they are attacking and have them attack by drawing arrows on the hearts.  (If you missed my post explaining how to play, you can read it here – trust me, it’s worth the read because students absolutely LOVE this game!)

Finally, show your students some love by giving them a homework pass.  You can download mine free by clicking on the picture below.  (Write the student’s name on the 1st line and sign the 2nd line.)  Either give one to every student as a Valentine or use them as a prize for the groups that won the word problem race and “Attack” game.  (I use the point system of grading, and homework counts as 2 points a day in my class, so I personally allow my students to either use the homework pass to get credit on a night where they didn’t do their homework or they can turn it in at the end of the marking period for 2 extra credit points.)

hw pass pic

I hope you are able to use some of these ideas in your class.  Please feel free to share what you do to have fun with your students on Valentine’s Day in the comments below!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Thanks for reading,

Christina

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A Review Game That Students Love – ATTACK!

attack game

Today I am writing about my absolute favorite (and my students’ favorite) review game: Attack!  Let me start by listing the reasons I love this game:

  • It requires NO PREP
  • It requires NO MATERIALS (other than a chalkboard/whiteboard)
  • It can be used in ANY SUBJECT
  • It is easy to change up for different HOLIDAYS/SEASONS or ANYTIME
  • The students LOVE it!! They get very competitive
  • It’s FREE
  • It can be used with a WIDE RANGE of GRADE LEVELS. I have played with 5th graders – 9th graders and they have all loved it.

Here’s how you play:

Pick something that you want students to “attack”.  Since we are coming up on December, attack the snowman is a good one to play…

Break the class up into groups (any size works, but I usually make groups of 3 or 4).  Have one person from each group go to the chalkboard and draw a snowman.  (I give them exactly 60 seconds to complete their drawing so that we don’t waste a lot of time with this).  Then have them sit back with their group.

Ask the class a review question and have all groups work together to solve the question.  Then choose ONE group at random to answer the question.  If they get the question correct, they get to “attack” 3 different snowmen.  I just have them draw a snowball (circle or x) on the snowmen they are attacking.  If they get the question wrong, you attack their snowman by drawing a snowball on it and then give another group a chance to answer that question.

Then ask another question and pick a different group to answer and repeat…

Once a snowman is attacked 5 times, it is “destroyed” (erased), but that team is still in the game so if they get a question right they can still attack other groups’ snowmen and get revenge. J

When you get to the point where there are only a couple of snowmen remaining, only allow students to attack one snowman when they get a question right.

The last snowman standing is the winner!

attack snowmen.JPG

Try it out with your class – I have never had a class that didn’t love this game!  It’s easy to change up based on the amount of time you have….you can change how many snowmen they attack each time they answer correctly and how many hits until a snowman is out.  Every time I play I change up the “thing” they are attacking, too…I have played attack the turkey, reindeer, boat, castle, etc.

Want a printable version of the rules?  You can download the complete instructions & tips free by clicking on the picture below.

attack pic1

Thanks for reading,

Christina

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Interactive Noggle Game: Play a Round for Free and Chance to Win Full Game!

Last year my  husband (who is a software developer) and I created the interactive game Noggle that has been a big hit with teachers using it in their classroom!  My students absolutely love the game and from what I have heard from other teachers, their students do, too.  The problem with our original Noggle game, though, was that it was designed using macros in PowerPoint, which means that it didn’t work on all computers:  It didn’t work on Macs at all, it didn’t work on Windows 8, and some schools’ security settings didn’t allow the macros to run…

Sooo…my husband completely remade the game as an html file that does not use PowerPoint at all, and should run on ANY computer – PC, Mac, IPAD, etc!!  (You can now play Noggle with the whole class on a SMARTboard, interactive whitboard, or Mimio or set it up on classroom computers or IPADs as a center/station activity….this new version is very versatile!)

noggle new cover

In case you haven’t read  my earlier post on Noggle and have no idea what I’m talking about….Noggle is a math game that is a great way to practice operations with whole numbers, operations with integers, the order of operations, and the letter mode of the game can even be used in a Language Arts classroom to have students practice creating words.  You just click on the mode you want to play, and then a random board is generated.

noggle pic2

Here’s my “How to Play” Page explaining the game:

noggle pic4

The game opens in your browser, but can be played with or without an internet connection.  It has been tested in Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 9 and up, Safari, Opera, and Firefox.  It was also successfully tested on an IPAD and android tablet.  However, the more the game is tested, the better!

That’s where you come into play…I want to give the game away FREE to 3 of my blog readers!!  In order to be eligible to win, all you need to do is try out the demo version of the game, and leave me a comment letting me know what type of computer you are on (PC, Mac, IPAD, etc), your operating system (Windows 8, Vista, etc.), what browser you are using (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, Opera), and how the demo game runs for you.  Feel free to leave your thoughts/comments/questions about the game, or how many expressions you were able to come up with, as well.  (I found 13 expressions with an answer of 12 in the three minute time period)!

*****Click here to try out the demo version*****

Depending on your computer/browser the demo game will either just open automatically for you when clicked, or it will download to your computer.  Once it downloads you should be able to click on the download and have it open right up.  If it does not open automatically in your browser when clicked, right click on the downloaded file and go to “Open With” and then select the browser of your choice.

If you are on an older computer that does not have a supported browser, you can download one (such as Google Chrome) free online.  (https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/desktop/)

To enter my giveaway for the full version of my Noggle Interactive Game, simply leave a comment below stating: type of computer, operating system, browser, how demo runs, (and optional comments/questions/etc).  I will email the full game to the winners, so be sure to leave an email address when filling out the comments form.  3 winners will be randomly selected  on 10/26/15.

 

Thanks for reading,

Christina


 

UPDATE 10/26:  This giveaway has ended.  Thank you to everyone who tested out the demo and left me a comment!  

THE WINNERS ARE:

  • Jessi W
  • V Fuller
  • J Rousselle

 

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Games in the Math Classroom – Noggle

Something that I love to do in my math classroom is play games!  Games keep the kids interested and are a sneaky way to reinforce concepts or make them think critically while they are having fun.

I play lots of different games with my classes – mini whiteboard games, card games, game show games, and bingo games, as well as miscellaneous other games.  One of the games I am most excited about that I will be playing with my kids this year is Noggle!

Click here for a post on my NEW VERSION of Noggle that includes a link to play a round for free!!

Noggle is a fun PowerPoint game that reinforces the order of operations.  Here is how the game is played:

noggle instructions

It only takes 3 minutes to play so it makes a great warmup activity!  I think that this year I will be playing this game with some of my classes on the first day of school when our class period is only about 15 minutes.  My plan is to put the kids in groups, have them work together to find as many expressions as possible.  (I have a worksheet for them that goes along with the game).  I am then going to have the groups trade papers and check each others’ expressions.  It should fill that shortened class period perfectly!

The game includes a version with all positive numbers and a version with both positive and negative numbers.  I am really looking forward to playing the negative version with my kids during our unit on integers – it should make a great review activity!

The animations of the board being “shaken” each time you play are fun – see the video below of the game in motion:

There is also a letter version of the game which Language Arts teachers could use in whatever way they want – to make as many words as they can or any other creative ideas they may have!

Click here if you are interested in purchasing Noggle for your classroom.

Thanks for reading,

Christina

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