Tech-less Tuesday: Worksheets Can Be Fun

So I’m a day late with Tech-less Tuesday, we’ll call today, “Without Tech Wednesday :P”

I am writing today with education.com to show you guys how I used their worksheets in my classroom this year. I’m not going to lie, I strongly dislike giving my students worksheets to complete independently, and the collecting them and grading them are even worse! However, I recently have been using worksheets to my advantage by making them into a basketball game. I purchased a little nerf basketball hoop for my classroom and when my kids see it hanging up, they come in very excited and ready to play and learn!

What do you need to play?

To set up, here is what you need:

  • Basketball hoop (or trash can with some paper basketballs)
  • Worksheet of your choice (visit education.com for a variety of great worksheets to choose from!)
  • Dry erase boards & markers
  • Duct tape (for the floor to mark 2- and 3-point shots)

Setting up the Game

To set up the game, you divide the students into teams. I usually do 5 groups of 4-5 students, grouped heterogeneously to make the game fair. Each team can come up with a team name for the score board. Students start by completing the worksheet independently for about 7-10 minutes, depending on the length of the worksheet. After they work on it independently, I give them time to work as a group. If the worksheet has several skills, I’ll assign questions I want each group to work on so that I know they are working on the specific skill I want them to practice. Of course as they are working, I am walking around and taking notes on my checklist to formatively assess the class.

The Game

Since I have a Promethean board, I use the spinner labeled with each students name on it. I have it set so that each child is only chosen one time. I use the spinner to determine the order that students answer. You can use popsicle sticks or roll a dice to determine the student order if you don’t have a digital spinner. The first student who lands on the spinner will answer the first question.

Since the students had a chance to discuss the answers and how to solve it with their group, random selection is a great way to make the game fair.

I give the class 1-2 minutes to write their answer/work on their whiteboards and say, “3-2-1- boards up!” If the person who’s name is chosen from the spinner got it correct, they get one point for their team and to take a basketball shot for their team. They can choose 2- or 3-point shot and they earn that many points for making it.

The team that has the most points when the worksheet is complete (or time runs out) wins! I usually give them a prize like a jolly rancher, homework pass, or extra computer time during centers. Rewards can be discussed before the game, however students are just excited to play basketball in math class!

Variations

There can be some variations to this game. You can make it individual, or have the class in 2 teams, or even let other teams steal from the students who got their question incorrect. I kept it simple in my class this year and it worked. I used this game for task cards during test prep and it made state exam review exciting. You can also use it for vocabulary practice.

Dive into multiplication practice with this under-the-sea themed math worksheet! Check out our full collection of math games and printables at Education.com.

How do you use worksheets in your classroom? Drop a comment below!

☆Alexandra☆

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