The Running Game


This summer I developed a series of problems called The Running Game. I took screenshots of my Nike+ Running app and blocked out certain information on the screen (typically distance or time) at various points on each run. The purpose of these challenges is to develop my students’ proportional reasoning and problem solving skills, and to provide them with opportunities to communicate their reasoning.

Day 5 Challenge

Day 5 Challenge

You’re welcome to use the challenges with your students. If you do, I’d love to hear what they like and dislike, and any suggestions you (or they) have for improving or expanding The  Running  Game. If you or anyone you know use a GPS-based running app on a smartphone (e.g., Endomondo, Nike+ Running, or RunKeeper) I’d love to have your help in generating more data. (If you’re interested in that, hit me up on Twitter: @mjfenton)

There are currently six challenges (with solutions), with more to follow. I plan to use The Running Game about once a week with my students, so I will create 40 challenges over the course of the school year.

I plan to use either this handout with my students. All the distance and time entries are blank so this one handout can be used with any of the challenges. (A less toner-intensive handout is available here. Let me know which of the two versions you or your students think is best.)

Getting Started

As the catalog of challenges grows, I’ll reorganize these pages. But for now, just start with the challenge for Day 1.

For those who would prefer to project the challenges (and answers) from an all-in-one slide deck: Keynote PDF

Comments 2

  1. This is a fun idea and I’d love to toss these in front of my kiddos frequently so they have some quick opportunities to exercise their proportional reasoning. These are sweet concise challenges we all seem to encounter. I know you’ve called it the Running Game, but I’d be curious to see some with driving, flying, walking, riding a bike, etc.
    I’m excited to see more!

  2. You’re the second person to suggest time/distance action for different forms of travel. I think it’s worth exploring, though I’m not sure how to collect and display the data. (I feel like about a week ago I finally hit a rhythm for gathering and displaying the Nike+ info so it’s clean, task is clear, etc.) If you have any ideas for how to gather and display info for the other forms of movement you described, don’t hesitate to share.

    I’m toying with the idea of turning The Running Game (where 30 to 40 challenges will suffice, otherwise I think it will get stale) into something tentatively titled Proportions 180 or Proportional Reasoning 180. I would find four or five other themes (or maybe many more) where proportional reasoning would play a central role in solving the challenges. Plus with a name in the style of Something 180, my single-serving MTBoS inspiration (plagiarism source?) would be unmistakably clear. 🙂

    I really hope you have a chance to try these out with your students. I’m excited to hear feedback from more than just my own classroom.

    One last thing… At the end of this month my wife and I are running a half marathon. There will be a special edition long(er)-form challenge for The Running Game.

    Thanks for stopping by to comment!

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