Sunday, November 16, 2008

Create a Custom BINGO Review Game Easily

The BINGO Master template is probably my most tried-and-true, favorite review game for classroom use. I've used it since my first year of teaching, and it's always been successful, even with the most difficult classrooms. It's also painfully simple.

Steve Mashburn, Coordinator of Online Education for Forsyth County Schools in Georgia, created this spreadsheet in 2001. You type in 25 vocabulary words and definitions, and then click the "Print Bingo Cards" button. Within seconds, 30 different bingo cards and a call sheet are generated and ready to print.

Vocabulary, of course, is not the only way to use BINGO Master. I used it for end-of-quarter Algebra I & II review recently. Algebra I students solved one and two-step equations and found the answers on their bingo cards, with numerical answers appearing on their cards and the equations on the call sheet. I would write them out, doing an example here and there to guide them along. Algebra II students factored polynomials in their version of the game.

In previous years, we played basic operations bingo--operations on integers, evaluating expressions and order of operations problems. This would be ideal for the first week or two of Algebra I and for pre-algebra lessons in earlier grades.

Make sure your spreadsheet program has macros enabled in order for it to work. Otherwise, this is about as flexible and easy to use as anything in your teaching arsenal.

For more flexible, easy ideas, check out my book Ten Cheap Lessons: Easy, Engaging Ideas for Every Secondary Classroom.


Travis said...

Cool idea because it is quick and useful. I have seen similar things with Jeopardy using PowerPoint, theme music and all. There are templates out there.

Mr. D said...


If you see any specific links that you would recommend, please email me so I can share them. Thanks!

Mr. D

Elissa Miller said...

I keep enabling the macros and it still won't print the cards. Do you know what I should do?

Mr. D said...

Elissa: Sometimes it prints automatically, but you can do it manually also if there's problems with the macros. After you click "Print Bingo Cards," check Sheet 2. You should see a bunch of the cards squeezed together with the items scrambled around. Print Sheet 2 only. I just tested this method out and it worked. Let me know what happens!

Elissa Miller said...

I can't even click Print Bingo Card though. It's just like a text box, clicking doesn't do anything. :(

Mr. D said...

Elissa: Well, you won't see anything happen, but if you go to Sheet 2, you should see the cards and then you can print them. If nothing's appearing there, maybe it's that particular file. Which one did you download? Have you tried another?

What program are you using to open it?

Also, as far as enabling macros, newer spreadsheet programs have higher security. You might have to go into the Preferences/Options, look for something like "Security" to fully enable macros, at least temporarily, even though I don't think the macros do anything other than automatically print Sheet 2 when you click the button.

Elissa Miller said...

I figured it out. Thanks!

How many times do you play this? Do you make them write out the problems?

I downloaded the basic operations one.

Melanie said...

This is great! I love how I can just change Sheet 2 and it'll organize it for me. Tons of work saved! Thank you!

Tom DeRosa said...

Thanks to reader Loretta K. for sending in this website full of PowerPoint game templates.

Anonymous said...

This is fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing this!