Math Game Show - Spark Student Motivation

Happy Saturday! It has been a super rainy Saturday here and I have been having a hard time finding my motivation. My youngest is on a camping trip and I feel sooo bad for her - outside in this cold rain all weekend : (    Now that I am done shopping and eating with my oldest daughter it is seriously time to get busy on my to-do list.

Soooo, as you may know, I am taking a math course and  my assignments are all based on teaching and reflecting on 3 part math lessons. This week, I did a lesson with my class on transformational geometry (I literally just finished typing it up and submitting it!!). So I thought I would share my lesson with you.

The first part of a 3 part math lesson is hooking kids into the problem. I was having a hard time thinking of a hook or good intro. I was talking with our math consultant and she threw out the idea of proving/disproving answers and away I went. I also remembered this post from Matt at Digital Divide and Conquer about running an educational game show in the classroom.

Here is what I did. I introduced  a new and exciting game show to my students - Name That Transformation. Then I  introduced the 3 contestants (short little bios). Then I introduced the question the contestants needed to answer (how an arrow moved from section 1 to section 4).  Next, I read over each contestant's answer. I assigned my students to a contestant (based on their birthday). Their job, to determine if their contestant's answer was correct. They had to be able to prove their answer. They also had to determine if there could be more than one answer. Finally, they had to figure out if they could come up with another solution.

Students worked on their own or in partners.

The proving part really worked well - some students did not pay close enough attention to the solutions given. When we got together to share our thinking there was a lot of disagreement among students working with the same contestant answers. This was a great opportunity to have the students talk to each other about their thinking and work together to build consensus.

My students really enjoyed the game show aspect of the problem. They really got into the idea of proving their contestant was right - or wrong! They were all talking about "their contestants". I will be definitely be using this format again - I can see many math game shows in our future.

Since this lesson sparked some student motivation in my class I am going to link up with my friend Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching for her linky.

You can pick up a copy of the materials I used in this lesson by clicking here.

Don't forget to check out the 1000 Follower Giveaway going on right here on this blog : )


  1. What a fun way to hook your students! The "hook" has always been a challenge for me and I enjoyed this idea!
    A Tall Drink of Water

  2. Fun idea! I love math that gets the students thinking and explaining their thinking!

    I went to Girl Scout camp for two weeks once where we had to pitch our own tents. It rained the entire much that they broke down and threw everything in the washer/dryer before we went home. So much for 'roughing it'!

  3. Looks like great learning fun!! Thanks for sharing!

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  4. Wow! What perfect timing! We are totally going to do this this week! We just started transformation geometry. Your poor daughter. We ran in the rain this morning - at least it wasn't too cold. Enjoy your Sunday.
    Grade 4 Buzz

  5. What a cute idea! You are so clever! I wish I taught transformations so I could do this! I love Calvin! He looks just like my grandpa who's named Calvin! (Except the cowboy boots). Love it!


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