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Friday, October 23, 2009

The Row Game

(As with everything) I didn't invent this, but I use the heck out of it. It is self-checking, which is my favorite thing, and seriously saving my butt in das uber-class that now has 31 kids in it. I don't even have 31 desks. I just hope at least one person is absent every day. I am totally serious about this.

Make a worksheet of problems organized in two columns. Column A and column B. The tricky part is the pair of problems in each row has to have the same answer. Obviously some topics are more suited to this than others. (Solving linear systems, easy. SOHCAHTOA, easy. Graphing inequalities, hard.)

Pair up the kids. Decide who is A and who is B. Tell the kids to only do the problems in their column. When done, compare answers to each question number with their partner. And if they don't get the same answer, work together to find the error. That last step is where the magic happens. I know how well I taught the topic by how busy I am while they are row gaming it up. (Sipping coffee: go, me. Running around like lettuce with its head cut off: self-recrimination time.)

I'll also do this by projecting 2-3 pairs of problems for 5-10 minutes of practice at the end of a lesson. Row Game Lite.

Here is an Operations on Radicals and a Permutations and Combinations worksheet to get you started.


  1. This is an awesome idea!!! Thanks for sharing it. I will be sharing this blog post with my entire math dept.

    Once again the blogosphere is making me a better teacher!!!

  2. I think I stole this from you last year and I love it. I have made up my own row games on several differnt topics for algebra I.

    I shared the row game at out State conference in July (CAMT) when I spoke on engaging activities for the math classroom. Hope you don't mind. there are probably hundreds of teachers in Texas using the row game now!

  3. Thanks Terry! And that's cool, Mrs H! Who knows who comes up with these things. I'm all for publicizing them far and wide.

  4. This sounds like a really good idea -- I have 2 huge Algebra 1 classes (35 8th graders, eek) that could really use this.

  5. Love it! I will definitely be using this in my own class. I'm also finally getting around to reading your blog after seeing your name in several places. Good stuff so far...looking forward to more.

  6. A spin off to the row by row, that is what I call it. Have the students create them! It is challenging and fun for the students.

  7. What do you think about using this to select student pairs?

    Make worksheet as described. Make sure every worksheet has a different answer for number 1. Give each student a random half sheet. Have students answer #1 and find partner.

    Students will figure out as they go if the partner they picked was correct and the kids won't be partnered with the same people...again.


Hi! I will have to approve this before it shows up. Cuz yo those spammers are crafty like ice is cold.