Monday, March 10, 2008

Graph BINGO Review Game

Last Friday was the last day before Spring Break, so I had to pull out all the stops to keep my students engaged and maybe, just maybe, actually teach them something. We needed to wrap up our review of Objective 1 & 2, incorporating a lot of different ideas and tying them together:
  • linear equations and inequalities
  • what is an isn't a function
  • quadratic functions
  • parent functions
  • connecting word problems to graphs
  • identifying all of the above visually
So I decided we'd play BINGO, using a board made up entirely of graphs. There are plenty of resources available online to create bingo cards for free, but I couldn't find one that did what I wanted it to do (the closest was this picture bingo card maker at I was cutting and pasting from the PDF files to a Word document, not creating individual image files, so I had to make it myself.

All of the graphs were pulled from TAKS released tests from Grade 8, 9, 10 and 11 and the 9th grade TAKS Study Guide. The graphs are informally grouped together, and I manually moved graphs and columns around to create 20 different cards.

The game is played like regular bingo, 5 in a row across, down or diagonally with a "free" space in the middle. The call sheet contains each graph and a verbal descriptions of it. I wrote each description on my document camera (the 21st century overhead projector) and repeated it verbally as well, and then students worked alone or in groups of 2-3 to identify the correct graph.

Instead of yelling out "BINGO!" students yelled "GRAPH!" and I verified their results. We were able to play 2 games in 45 minutes. I guided students as much as possible through the first game, but then left them on their own for the second. They enjoyed it, were engaged (even with Spring Break looming) and most importantly had a clear grasp of the material.

I used highlighters as markers, which means the boards couldn't be reused. This was a pain, but better than the alternative. I've done different versions of bingo in class for years, and no matter what I used for markers--actual bingo chips, pinto beans, candy--students would throw them at each other, steal them and create a huge mess. By having them work in small groups, there were enough cards left over that I only needed to print the 20 for each class.

GRAPH bingo call sheet
20 GRAPH bingo cards

For more games and good ideas, check out my book!