Review Activity for Rational Equations

Last year, I did a review game that I got from Sue Van Hattum. I wrote that:

[this game] forces students to ask themselves: what do I know and how confident am I in what I know? (It’s meta-cognitive like that).

I set kids up in pre-chosen pairs, and they are asked to work together. In fact, I gave kids their new seats for the quarter, so this was their introduction to their new seat partner! They then are given a booklet with problems — and each pair is asked to work only on ONE problem at a time. (For those who finish a problem before others, I have alternative problems for them to work on.) When I see almost all pairs are done, I’ll give a one minute warning… Then I ask all students to put their pencils down and pick up a pen. We go over each problem, kids correct their own work, and using the honor system, they figure out how many points they have. (Scoring below.)

You can see three sample questions from our review game below…

[The .pdf and .doc file of the 6 questions are linked.]

I explained in my last post how scoring worked…

Each group started with 100 points to wager — and they lost the points if they got the question wrong, and the gained the points if they got the question right.

Some possible game trajectories:

100 –> 150 –> 250 –> 490 etc.

100 –> 10 –> 15 –> 30 etc.

Anyway, what was great was that the game really got students engaged and talking. Each student tended to work on the problem individually, and then when they were done, they would compare with their partner.

(If you try this, you have to make sure that students know NOT to skip ahead… everyone is working on one problem at a time. Then you go over the problem, and THEN everyone starts the next problem.)

So there you go… I don’t do reviews a lot, but for rational expressions, rational equations, and circuit problems, I figured we’d need a day to tie things up. And since this is one review I think works amazingly, I figure I’d share it a second time! Thanks Sue!



  1. Sam,
    I love you for this game. I can’t wait to try it. It saved my Wednesday. Now we just need a fun name for it! Risk it? Wager? Something exciting AND mathy? That’s possible, right?

    1. I call it Math Poker. Also, if a student goes in the hole, they have to pick a card (that I’ve previously created) and do whatever it says to gain points. For example, do a cartwheel, run around the room 3 times, sing the ABCs, etc. But then some people will start to bet all their points just so they can do the silly card thing.

  2. I’m starting rational expressions tomorrow. We’re going to kick it off by watching this video: and then playing with this awesome PHET app:

    We might also take some data. “What happens right at the focal point” can hopefully bring us into asymptotes.

    Totally stole this “risk” format from you, probably going to steal this one verbatim at the end of the week.

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