Week 5–Stealing is Caring

I did a fun activity! I know it was fun, because I asked the students to rate it on a scale of one to five (on their hands) and no one–in either class–rated it below a 3, and most students gave it either a 4 or a 5.


I got this game from Mathsational–I never would have thought to make the cards up in PowerPoint, but this is a genius move. Making different sets was really easy–I just changed the background in the powerpoint. So simple! I had actually never heard of the game “My Ship Sails”…and all but one of my students hadn’t heard of it either, but the rules are pretty straightforward and no one had any issues with the rules getting in the way of them practicing the math concepts, so that was good. I came up with the idea mid-way through that I should have had students say “QED” when they won, but I had already told them the rules and they were so busy being productive.

Another blatant rip-off from the MTBOS that I did on the very same day was Attacks and Counterattacks. I added a few more words for students to define, but in my final debrief I stuck to the three that Sam defined: circle, polygon and triangle. I didn’t do the best job of the debrief in my first section, but I think I did a good round 2 with my second section. Nothing fancy, just had each group put up their three definitions on the whiteboards and then when people raised their hands that they had a counterattack, asked them to put them on the whiteboard. We did one word at a time, partly because I wasn’t sure how many we’d get through before the class was over, partly as an organizational strategy to keep everything focused. It worked.

My favorite word–which we did not put up on the whiteboards–is the narwhal. I have had classes in the past (lame, boring classes) who purposefully *skip* this word, because “it’s not serious.” GEEZ, KIDS! THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT!!! But this year the kiddos were into it and we had many fabulous definitions of narwhal.

My favorite one was my favorite because I had an awesome counterattack for it: two kids defined narwhal as “the product of the marriage between a unicorn and a dolphin.” My counterattack stated that the unicorn and the dolphin were not heterosexual, and therefore were unable to have biological children. The kids loved this by the way; they even took a picture of my sentence–though I shudder to think where that image wound up going… Whatever. Score one for the fight against heteronormativity!


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