The Date Game

As is often the case when a school year winds down, a few ideas have crept into my head that I wish I’d have thought of eight months earlier. Things are winding down quickly at my school (seniors are done with classes; junior high wraps up this Friday; and high school next Friday), so I’ll share this here in case it’s of use to anyone whose year stretches into June—or for anyone interested in giving this a run in the fall.

Step 1. Throw this in front of your students:

Step 2. Give students some think time. Then collect responses however you want. Here are two options:

  • If you have enough whiteboard space, give the entire class 60 seconds to write one of their equations on the board. Set a timer. Or count down during the final 10 seconds. Or both. Whatever the case, this needs to be quick. If time allows and you’re interested, select 2-3 equations for the class to verify.
  • Are your students arranged in groups? Ask each group to contribute their favorite equation. Then give the class a couple minutes to hunt for “imposter” (i.e., incorrect) equations.

Samples. Here are some responses you might see for today (May 13):

The Date Game.002

The Date Game.003

Can I use your classroom as a remote laboratory? If you’re game, I’d love for you to run this by your students sometime this semester. If you do, drop a few words about your experience in the comments below.


Comments 3

  1. I do a simpler “date game” with numerical expressions all year. That way I sneak in reviewing ideas like zero as an exponent, order of operations, square roots, etc. This week has been the exception – we’re featuring Palindrome Week! (Today simply says 51415)

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