Sum Relay Races

Disclaimer…I learned about this review method at a conference years ago and have loved incorporating it into my class.  I am 99% sure I learned about it from Pam Wilson…thank Pam!


Although I love conceptual based problems and teaching sometimes my kids need some procedural fluency practice and I hate worksheets more than most!  We needed some extra practice today on the quadratic formula so I introduced my kids to this fun relay race game that requires teamwork more than speed and wanted to share it!

Students were placed in groups of 3.  (I usually allow them to pick their own)

Each group decided which student will be A, B, and C and records it on their answer recording sheet.

Students receive a card that has 3 problems on it.  One is labeled A, one B, and one C.  Each student does their problem and records their answer on their sheet.  Once all the answers have been recorded students find the sum of their answers and record it in the last column.

Once students have the sum they run their recording sheet up to me and I check the sum only.  If it is correct they get the next problem card and if it is incorrect they go back to their seats to work together to try and find their errors and then resubmit their answer.

If a group is really struggling I will look over their answers to A,B, and C to determine where the errors are in order to better help the group narrow down their mistake.

I generally provide our team money for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams.  I also always have an additional activity in case there are early finishers…today it was a trail review in the hallway but no one quite got to that part!

This was our first time this year utilizing this game but the kids loved it and asked to do it more!  I actually had to make my 4th hour leave today because they were determined to finish.

Here are the Quadratic Formula Problem Cards  and Relay Race Answer Recording  Sheet that we used in class today.  I have also embedded my first Swivl video of me giving the directions and a few minutes of the kids working in their groups today.  (This class had a lot of students on a band field trip today…my class size is usually much larger!).  Let me know if you have questions or suggestions to improve!


Math Class Musical Chairs

I have been so busy I have dropped the ball on blogging but after doing one of my favorite activities yesterday I remembered I needed to share!  One of my awesome colleagues Jill Angelucci shared this with me and we have so much fun with it!

This game can vary based on how many students and problems you have but generally I have about 30 students so I take the 9 problems attached here:  Muscial Chairs Expressions Review, and make 3 copies so I have 27 copies altogether.  I cut the problems apart and tape one to each desk which leaves 3 to 5 desks without a problem on them.

Each student gets a copy of the musical chairs blank handout found here: Musical Chairs Student Handout, to do their work on.  Then we get “mathy” musical chairs style.  All the kids get up and walk around the room while I play music.  When the music stops they grab the nearest desk work the problem they find on their desk on the worksheet.  If they sit at a blank desk or at a problem they’ve already done they lose that turn.  I give them about 90 seconds to do the problems before I start the music and they get moving again so no one is left without anything to do for long.  I generally reward the first 3 people to get all the problems done and correct.  Generally everyone has to go back once or twice to check their work on a problem which adds to the fun and helps them find their own errors.

We have so much fun with this game and you can do it with any number of problems or any number of kids.  I hope you’ll try!