We made it to spring break! Hallelujah!
But seriously, the last few weeks? Crazy Town. Absolute Crazy Town.
We’re at that time of year when suddenly that whole idea of “testing” seems to come out of nowhere and slap everyone in the face. Suddenly “testing” has a date. And suddenly you, the teacher, have an official countdown to when your students need to know everything.
Am I the only one who hits this spot every year and thinks, “Holy crud, I still have like two and a half units to teach?!”
(I hope I’m not.)
(Also, why don’t I ever see it coming?!)
My 8th graders will test in early May. Yes, our grade got the coveted first week of testing at our school, meaning all the most important stuff needs to be taught before that, and then we have the most time after that to focus on the less important stuff. So that gives me about five weeks to teach exponents and most of my Geometry standards. Thank goodness, we already did the Pythagorean theorem.
We just finished up Systems of Equations, and I’ve never taught it in such a short time frame before. With spring break being this week, and my kids’ 8th grade D.C. trip at the beginning of March, we had just three weeks to start and finish for systems. Thankfully, my students rose to the challenge when I explained that we were going through this thing at full speed!
It was kind of a bummer for me that we had to speed through, because I have SO MANY fun activities for systems. We didn’t get to do most of them, sadly, but I was able to really go through all my files and ended up finding a Bingo activity that I’d never gotten around to finishing. Since I needed a fun activity that my kids could do independently for their test review, I finished the Bingo game up just in time to pair it with my systems Clue game for a fun review day. Wow, those guys loved Bingo! I had no idea it would be so popular with them, but everyone was super into it.
I made the game so it could be played either as a whole class together or individually, and for review I had them play the individual version. This way they got to work at their own speed, so higher kids got more practice problems in and kids who were still unsteady with the concept could take their time focusing on where they were making mistakes. And since Bingo is mostly a game of chance, being “fast” didn’t necessarily mean a win was ensured.
And now that I have a week off to relax, recuperate, and re-evaluate my lessons for the rest of the year, I’m definitely going to see if I can whip up a few more versions of this game!
Playing Systems of Equations Bingo
1) Print all 12 problem cards as many times as necessary to ensure each student can have 2-3 problems to themselves at a time. (These can be printed back to back to make distributing to more students easier.)
2) Distribute cards to students. They work out problems on scratch paper, or lined paper to turn in.
3) When students get five in a row, they come up to get their Bingo checked. There is only one possible Bingo, so any other lines filled means the student has at least one incorrect answer on that line.
If you’d like to try it for yourself, this Systems of Equations: Bingo activity can be found on my TPT store. Happy teaching!