Sunday, April 15, 2012

Math Olympics

Testing Time! My class is finally done with testing... other than the few that were absent and have to take make-up tests this week. I am so relieved to be done with them! I know the kids are too. 

In order to prepare for our math test on Tuesday, I let the kids play a little Mathematical Olympics on Monday morning. The way this worked is as follows:

I have my math games/activities organized by topics (number sense, fractions, probability, algebra, etc). These are in cubbies in my classroom so that it is easily accessible to the students. The students have been introduced to all of the activities and games throughout the year.

Students began their olympics by receiving a simple sheet of paper that had the topics listed, along with a minimum number of activities they must accomplish from that topic. They were encouraged to do more than on the list, but had to at least accomplish the minimum. They were awarded one point for each activity completed. I didn't attach the paper because it would vary depending on what topics you have to cover and what topics you have games for. 

I then let the students loose to begin. Some students chose a partner to work with all morning, whereas others worked with a variety of different students in order to accomplish as many activities as they could. They had so much fun! I don't think they even realized they were reviewing everything we had learned this year! I monitored behavior, clean-up, and rule following by walking around the room as they worked. If they were caught doing the wrong thing, I took away one of their activity points.

At the end of our allotted time, I had all of the students clean up and return to their seats. I then gave out Olympic medals that I picked up at the party supply store for cheap! You would have thought I was giving them real gold. They were so proud. I also gave a small candy prize to the students that completed the most activities.

Reflecting back on this, there are a couple things that I would change. I would probably take the time to list out specific activities I wanted them to do under each topic rather than letting them chose. I would also have asked them to get me to sign off on each activity when they showed me they had completed it. 

Overall, it was a fun morning and a great break from the traditional test-prep practice tests. I know the kids loved it!

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