by Shaunna Knepp


Writing Variable Expressions & Writing and Evaluating Equations

Shaunna Knepp
To obtain a downloadable copy of the worksheet that accompanies this bulletin board, click on the button below.

SUBJECT: Algebra

TOPIC: This bulletin board is a review game for writing variable expressions, writing and evaluating equations.

INTERACTIVITY: Students will pick the amount of yardage they want to try to go for. Much like Jeopardy, the higher the yardage, the tougher the question. The choices are 5 yards, 10 yards, or 15 yards. They then answer the question. If they get it correct, that team’s ball is moved that amount of yards toward their goal. For example if Team A answers a 10 yard question correctly, their ball can be moved 10 yards closer to the goal. The object of the game is to earn the most touchdowns.

DIRECTIONS: Mathball involves two teams. This could be one on one, a few people vs. a few people, or half the class vs. the other half. Once the teams are established, hand out accompanying worksheet. The students are to write out the questions and the answers on this worksheet as the game is played, to ensure participation from everyone. A simple coin toss determines which team goes first. The team that won the coin toss is Team A and starts. The game goes like this:

  1. Team A chooses how many yards, 5, 10, or 15, they want to try for. (the higher the yardage, the tougher the question)
  2. The question is read aloud and Team A works together to come up with an answer. Everyone is responsible to the complete the worksheet, also.
    1. If they answer correctly, Team A’s ball is moved that amount of yards towards their goal. Then proceed to #3.
    2. If they answer incorrectly, Team B has a chance to "intercept the ball" and answer the question. If Team B answers correctly, their ball is moved. If not, the answer is given and the question is a "dead ball". Proceed to #3.
  3. It is now Team B’s turn (whether or not they intercepted the ball).
  4. The whole procedure starts again…

The play keeps alternating between Team A and Team B until one scores a "touchdown", where the ball crosses the goal line. That team receives one point, their ball is placed back on the 50 yard line, and the game continues. If any player of either team is disruptive or playing unfairly, the teacher has the ability to deduct yards from that player’s team and move their ball any amount of yards back towards the 50 yard line.

TIME: This game can take anywhere from 20 minutes to however long the teacher has allotted to play.

CREDIT: Students will complete the worksheet as they play and hand in for credit at the conclusion of the game.

COMMENTS: This game can be a short game, by not having a lot of questions, or a long game by having a lot of question in each of the 5, 10, and 15 yard pockets. This game can also be adapted to any lesson by making up new question cards that fit the material. Also, by deducting points from the whole team if one person is misbehaving cuts down on any disruptions or unfair behavior while playing the game.

Shaunna Knepp