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Monday, May 3, 2010

It's About That Time

At lunch today (provided by our fantastically supportive STPA - it's such a nice thing they do for us every year) we were talking about how soon the year is going to end. It's only a few weeks until Memorial Day. After that, we just have two four-day weeks of classes, a week of exams, and then a week of sitting around and twiddling our thumbs because we already took all of our personal days. Ok that's maybe just me.

I am not quite sure yet about this year, but in other years I have used this Survivor-themed review game to help review for final exams. I was going to write up a whole big thing about it, but then I realized that the original description was pretty darn close to what I ended up doing. So I am just formally endorsing it. Check it out.

I made a few minor modifications:

  • I score each challenge out of 10, but there are only 5 points available on it. So their score is never lower than 50%. This prevents all these scores from really killing their quarter grade if they bomb a few. Or more than a few. Reviewing a whole year can be rough.
  • I can't exempt anyone from Regents exams, so I work "immunity" thusly (I've been watching a bunch of Alton Brown, can you tell?): The winning tribe for each challenge automatically gets a perfect score on the next challenge. However, they still take it and try hard on it, because they could always get immunity a second time!
  • To up the joy quotient, I gave some incentive for the tribes that made beautiful signage of their tribe name to hang above their work area.
  • One year I gave $5 Amazon gift cards to each winner of the winning tribes, and another year I had t-shirts made. The t-shirts were the far more popular prize. They wore them to the exam and took pictures. You want to see a bunch of regents kids act like math nerds? Give em a free t-shirt.
  • The first few days of the game, and more if you feel like it, you MUST blare the survivor theme song in your room as class starts, and you MUST wear a safari jacket and bush hat. NO EXCEPTIONS, buddy.


  1. You MUST post (or at least tweet) pictures of yourself in a safari jacket and bush hat.

  2. Agreed!

    This looks like a great way to get the kids pumped about review (one of the most monotonous tasks imaginable for many of them). I was going to try a version of Math Baseball to up the interest, but this seems like a more focused approach with some group study built in.

    Do you present each review section as a mini-test or do you mix up the problems so that it has a more "Final Exam" feel to it? I'm thinking that section by section will help them focus their at home reading and practice.

    All-in-all, thanks for the stellar link and I look forward to rolling this out in a few weeks!

  3. @Maestro for the first half or so, I focus on 1-2 topics per day that are most necessary and helpful for them to review. Then I make it more mixed.

    Have fun with it - let me know how it goes for you.


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