So last year I tried out the mistake game, and it kinda bombed.
This year I am trying it out again…on the exact same material.
But wait, Bree–didn’t you say last year that these problems weren’t great for making good, rich, intentional mistakes? Why, yes; I did. Now, I’m not exactly sure *where* I said that, but I’m sure that I did.
Mistake Game, version 2.0 is already going better than last year. Same course, same unit, same material. What’s different? Well, mostly just the way I set things up and introduced the idea, but also the format to some extent. Last year I got the idea to do the mistake game on this packet of problems when most students had finished (or nearly finished) the work. This time around we’re doing presentations in several rounds as we go. The added bonus is that while students are waiting for other groups to finish writing up their solutions on the whiteboard, they have something to work on!
Several of my students wrote on their midterm self-reflections that the Mistake Game was one of the most helpful and/or most enjoyable aspects of the class. Now, that may be due in part to being one of the more recent things we’ve done in class, but I still count this as a success.
One more small share: Earlier in the year I used the red/yellow/green cups. For ONE day. ONE activity. And I still have kids in one of my classes who will draw a red or green cup on the whiteboard when they want to get my attention. I chastise them when they draw the red cup with green markers, and vice versa. But they have convinced me that this, too, was a good idea.
The cups are now living full-time in the classroom.