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.
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).
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.
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.
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).
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.)
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!
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.
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 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!
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.