Minute to Win It - Math Connection & Sparking Student Motivation

Happy Saturday!! I have 10 more days to go to summer vacation : )  but only 10 more days to spend with what is seriously one of the best group of students I have ever had : (    and to say good-bye to the school community that has been like a second family to me for 15 years : ((

But today I am here to share how I use a super fun idea to help keep things moving at the end of the year - Minute to Win It games. But wait, don't stop reading if you are done for the year, these games are also fantastic lead-ins for many math lessons!!! So really they can be used all year long : )

First of all, if you have not played any Minute to Win It games in your class (or even if you have) I highly recommend picking up the free pack of game ideas from Tonya's Treats for Teachers. It is a freebie in her TPT store. I project the game instructions on my whiteboard, have the students read them to themselves and then 1 student read it aloud and then 1 explain what they think we will be doing (why - so I have time to set up the activity and supplies silly - cause it is the end of the year and I do not have my sh... stuff together!).

I also showed a quick clip of the game off of youtube for those students who have not watched the show.

I also use this Minute to Win It timer from youtube when we are doing the challenges - the students love to check the clock and begin a final countdown at 10 seconds. (There are other ones on youtube - this is the one I chose).

Then we let the games begin. There is tons of cheering, oohs and ahhs, some screaming and a lot of counting!!

Here are some pics of our pyramids and chandeliers.


So, how do I use this for math you may ask. Well as you may know I use the candy heart stack activity for data management (read about that here).

All of these activities are great opportunities to collect data for graphing, finding range, median, mean and mode. I have my students collect data from their own trials, as small groups and as a class.

This year we are using some data to help us compare and order decimals. We added to our fun and games by making paper airplanes and throwing them! We recorded the distance each plane flew in meters and centimeters (our record 6.23 m!!). We also had a standing long jump competition to collect more decimals. On Monday we will be using these numbers to create a number line with decimals and to compare two decimal amounts (this is greater than that by this much....  my jump plus her jump would be...).

So when my principal stopped by and my students were screaming the countdown while other students feverishly tried to bounce ping pongs into a basket I could calmly explain - no this was not a party - this was math : )


  1. What fun ideas, Anne! Thanks for sharing :) I love how you incorporated the math concepts into it - fun and educational at the same time. Defintiely storing this away for the beginning of next year - my kiddos will love it!

    Joy in the Journey

  2. How cute and fun! I will have to try this next year! Your kids will remember you always because you make learning fun!
    Hang in there! 10 more to go!

  3. SO glad you had fun with the games! I love how you used the actual videos and math as instruction! Great ideas!!!

    Happy Summer...soon;)

    Tonya’s Treats for Teachers

  4. I LOVE Minute to Win It! I totally forgot about playing it this year! I made a whole tub full of all the materials needed to play several different games-my husband even borrowed it to bring to work to motivate his employees! :) Of course, you're a better teacher than me incorporating math! You're amazing, and I'm sure your school will feel a huge void without you, but they will be happy for your new endeavor! Thanks for sharing and linking up BBB!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  5. WHY? Why did you post this after I am already finished? I almost...ALMOST...want to fly home and play this with my kiddos in my class....except it's summer and I'm lazy and I don't want to do anything except be a blob. I love that you were doing math with your kids and your principal walked in. My Admin would love that! I know you are going to miss your old school, but I'm super excited for your new adventures!!!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  6. I love how you showed your students that math is everywhere! Good luck for your last 10 days. You can do it!!

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings


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