Made 4 Math Monday #4 Hole-Punch Game


Has it seriously been a week since I was here? Yep.

Just one quick thought on #TMC12 for today… It was everything I expected and it was nothing like I expected.  Yes – these people are the rockstars they seem to be on twitter… they are genuine in their desire to become better teachers – willing to share – wanting to learn… and give their students the best learning opportunities possible!  But what I was most amazed with – I was there with people I had never met – I guess I was expecting it to be weird meeting everyone for the first time -but everyone was exactly as I expected them to be… oddly as it may be – I felt like I had known them for ages.  I walked in to MICDS in awe of the company – I left MICDS knowing I had lifelong friendships / colleagues from all across the country.  These folks are

To end Saturday, we broke out into content areas.  I was part of the Algebra I group.  There were some great ideas shared – @cheesemonkeysf rational expressions scavenger hunt game;  I’m sorry I didn’t write the name down, was it @msimmons5 (sorry if not) – had this great SURVIVOR review game he uses – within a matter of minutes – there were suggestions shared on what to do with kicked-off / disbanded teams.  Hoping he will actually start a blog and well, blog about the idea in its entirety (sp?).

I shared a snippet of an activity called the Staple Game.  It was shared with me at a KLN meeting this spring.  Since I hate to waste office supplies (staples) – I updated it to the “Hole-Punch Game.”  Simple rearrange a worksheet / practice problems so they are placed around a sheet of paper…see this example:


  • Students work in teams.
  • Each student will complete his/her own work.
  • When everyone has completed 1 problem – they compare answers – to determine which is correct and will be used for the group answer.
  • All team members run over to teacher – teacher checks solution –
    • if correct, hole punch the outer edge of the problem, students return to work space and continue to next problem.
    •  if incorrect, they return to workspace and rework.
  • She also suggested staggering which # each team begins working on.

The teacher who shared said this accomplishes 3 things:

  1. Students must talk / agree on a solution.
  2. Students are physically up and moving.
  3. Sure you could put a check mark, stamp it, etc. but the sound / click of the hole – punch (or stapler) does something crazy and the students – especially for those who are struggling are motivated to keep on working.  Weird, huh?

So for #made4math I am sharing a radical equation hole-punch game.  It could be used as a review or simply as in-class skills practice.


I think you’ll agree this is not a difficult thing to create.  Often times for me, certain classes of students will work harder when a “worksheet” is transformed into a “game-like” activity.  I have also used Tales from the Spring’s Ghosts in the Graveyard activity a couple of times- tweaked for the appropriate season / holiday eggs in a basket, presents under the tree… great discussions occurred every time – students helping students and they completed WAY more practice problems during that short amount of time than I could have ever assigned for them to do otherwise.  The thing I LOVE about this activity – Its not necessarily the fastest, smartest, who completed the most problems that will actually win…

10 responses »

  1. It was so amazing to meet you at TMC! I can’t wait to get together next year too 🙂 I was very nervous on the trip to St Louis, wondering what people would be like, but as you said, it was so comfortable and natural!

    Thanks for the Hole Punch game – I love that it makes them talk math before going to the teacher!

  2. I love when you can turn a worksheet into “something more,” and a game that gets the kids talking AND out their seats is even better. And how funny: I have never even thought that the sound of a hole punch or stamp would make the kids so excited. What a great idea!

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