Monday, October 10, 2016

MATHO! as a review game

This blog post was crossposted at mathequalslove. Thanks, Sarah!
I learned how to play this tried-and-true game with my classes in my first year of teaching. It was when I wrote answers on an overhead transparency using those felt tip transparency markers that smelled sour when they got too old. I remember cleaning the transparencies with Windex or even sometimes in the sink, math dreams swirling away.

Now, I write the answers on a piece of paper, snap a picture with my iPad, and project it on the wall with my Apple TV. A lot has changed in 25+ years technology-wise, but not the love of this game. I don't know a kid who does not enjoy playing it. It's low key and yet there is a bit of friendly competition with who gets MATHO! first.

Here's what you do to prepare for the game.

  • Write out about 30 review problems. I wrote them out using Notability on my iPad ahead of time. MATHO! is probably better when you don't have a ton of long problems. Here is an example of the first few for review of functions...the rest are linked here as a pdf.
  • Write out the answers to these questions in a different order on a separate piece of paper. I literally write the answers all over the place and boxed them. Here's an example of what it looks like (with a link here.)

  • Have MATHO! sheets (linked here) ready to go. That's it for preparation.
Here's what you do right before playing the game. 
  • Give students blank MATHO! sheets. Tell them to fill in the 24 spaces with 24 of the 30 review problems. They should scatter the answers in different boxes to ensure that everyone has a different MATHO! card. This takes a bit of time, but if you play a song and tell them that after the song ends, they should be done, they are usually on task and copy the answers quickly. There are more answers than there are spaces, and this spices it up a bit because some of the answers will not be on everyone's cards. 
  • Have students check that they did not copy any answers twice. I ask them to switch with a partner who can look and double check for them.
  • Ask students to take out paper for doing work. If you have students that are not self-motivated, you may want to collect this paper for a formative grade after the game. Students must show work to get credit.
  • Tell students that even if they know what the answers is before they see the question, they have to do the work and not call out the answer. (Sometimes, if an answer is obvious, i.e., there is only one graph, I will put a WRONG but similar graph as an "answer" so that they will not just pick the graph without thinking.) This also spices things up, as not every answer will be used. 
  • Project question 1 on the board. Have students write the work down and put an X in the box if they have it. Walk around to help struggling students (I put mine in groups to help each other.) Go over on board if necessary. Continue with the next question and repeat until someone gets MATHO!
  • I have students continue this game after the first MATHO! so that many students are able to get MATHO! I only allow a student to win twice if they get blackout (all squares have an X).
  • I give my students a choice of candy. I get fruit roll ups at the dollar section from Target or lollipops or any kind of candy. 
That's it! I think 50 minutes is a good amount of time for the game. There are probably websites that will scramble the cards for you, but I think the kids enjoy filling in the spots. They get excited when the one they wrote is on the card and chosen and mad when they didn't write one down that gets picked. It's just good wholesome fun :)


Unknown said...

Your "guest post" on Sarah's blog was a God send! Last night I was floundering trying to figure out how to review with my Algebra 2 classes. My students had so much fun playing MATHO today! I have never heard so much cheering in my classroom!
Kathy Owens

Lisa Winer said...

So so so glad to hear!!

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