Monday, November 12, 2012

Made 4 Math: Totally Awesome Prizes

This week's #Made4Math: Totally Awesome Prizes was made up on the spot...out of the the top of my head and it was oh, so much fun:)  One of my favorite ways to review for a test other than a Study Guide is to use dry erase boards.  Now, that doesn't mean I don't like to use student clickers or cell phones, but some days I just prefer the dry erase.  Too often, I tell the students that I am awarding make believe points with make believe prizes (lame, I know.)  This week, I thought it would be fun to award real points and have real prizes for the students to "buy" after the review.  But where to get the prizes for ALL of my students without spending tons?  This is where this week's #Made4Math came in...I simply asked the kids to bring in a "White Elephant" prize, something from their home, locker, or car that was cool, but that they didn't want anymore.
I had baskets with point values on them in which students could place their items.  Items were valued as the students wished with none of the prizes valued for more than the potential points available during the review session.  They brought in everything from a pink flamingo pen to a wooden nesting doll (which surprisingly someone wanted). I added in candy, items from local colleges, and hand sanitizer compliments from the school counselors.  We had plenty of items in each category and the students scouted out the prizes before class started.
Our tests typically have 25 questions that count 4 points each with partial credit awarded for work demonstrating a partly right answer.  I used tickets from Dollar Tree to represent the number of points their response might have been awarded had it been written on the test.  Red tickets represented full credit at 4 points, green tickets counted for 3 points, and yellow tickets were 2 points each.  I had questions (and answers) prepared for Review Day which i wrote on sticky notes and hung on the whiteboard and I placed strips of each of the colored tickets on the students' desks.  As the students showed their answers on the dry erase boards, they were awarded a point value.  The students pulled off the correct ticket from one of the strips on their desk.  The students pulled tickets with great integrity probably because they are juniors and seniors and the prizes were....well, let's just say the six pack of Reese's that cost a whopping $1 was considered a top win:)
     Several students stopped by the next day to tell me how much fun they had (working math problems) on the Review Day.  They weren't alone; I had fun, too.   We laughed alot on Review the prizes we brought and the prizes we picked...but with the laughter they relaxed about their second "College test" and they identified and corrected misconceptions.  The test grades were the proof...13 out of 20 made A's!!!

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