Because today was a good day.
And also we played Zombie Graveyard courtesy of Ms. Rose Roberts. Thank you so much for the idea, Rose!
All students write their names on the board and then you place 3 x’s next to each name. These are the students’ lives. I wrote an exponential expression on the white board for students to simplify. They answered silently using their Chromebooks to enter their answers on Go Formative. (I made an assignment especially for quickly polling the class that I call “The Answer Box”. It is always open and they never submit. They just change their previous answer. At a glance I can see the entire class response without anyone giving anything away. Which is important for Zombie Graveyard, as you will see. I also kept an eye on Hapara to make sure that no one was cheating using Math Papa or other math solving websites.)
When a student got answer correct, they were allowed to go up and erase an X from ANY other student’s name. At first I sent multiple students up at once to save time, but this took away a strategic element from the game because everything was getting erased all at once and I couldn’t watch for cheating with 6 bodies at the board. I did do this when we were pressed for time, but I had much higher engagement and excitement from students when I only sent them up one at a time and the whole class watched and begged or cajoled them to pick a certain person’s life. Another strategy I used to speed up the game if it went on to long was to increase the amount of x’s they could take away if they answered correctly. The students also really enjoyed this.
Now, once a student loses all three of their lives, they are not out of the game. They simply are now zombies. And zombies get to erase TWO x’s when they get answer correct.
I gave the class 1 minute to answer each question and if they took to long at the board choosing who to attack, I would start counting down from ten loudly. I also let some students choose not to attack, feeling that it made the game more interesting. And indeed, those students won on several occasions because they went unnoticed–no one wanted revenge.
Overall this activity went really well and the class engagement was really high. They only downsides that I could see was that the rounds took too long. I only got 3-5 questions in before the game was over. But that also meant that most of my students were answering correctly. After each round I asked for a volunteer to explain the correct solution.
After the game we had short notes and then they practiced radicals. Everything went really well. Much better than last week.
Thanks for reading!