The week before first semester finals can get REALLY boring with review worksheets and final preparation. It's necessary, but it can be rather tedious and not very entertaining. I teach a math support class to go along with the Geometry class, and we (as a class) decided to take a break from final prep and try out a new game I saw while scrolling through Twitter. We made a few adaptations to fit our needs and what we were trying to practice and named the game "Fill. That. Space" and you have to say it like how Ty Pennington said "Move. That. Bus" on Extreme Home Make Over. That's a mandatory rule.
Here's how it works:
1. A person rolls two dice. The numbers on those dice form a two digit number of your choice. So, let's say you roll a 2 and a 4. You can use the number 24 or the number 42.
2. On your grid paper, you have to draw a rectangle with an area of either 24 or 42. Students are forced at this point to start listing out all the factors of both numbers to make their rectangle. We have been factoring trinomials this semester and trying to come up with the factors during that process is always the hardest part for my struggling students. This game was a GREAT way to practice this skill. Additionally, I made a rule that students had to write the equation to find the area of each rectangle inside the rectangle just reinforce the idea of area and also keep track of each roll.
3. The goal is to fill the ENTIRE page with rectangles. Any square unit that is not colored at the end counts against you. The goal is to entirely fill your grid paper. So, students also have to think about how they want to break down their area to create a rectangle that best utilizes the space they have left which turned out to be a great exercise is spatial awareness too!
The winner at the end of the period was the person who had the LEAST number of unclaimed square units.
There were a few road blocks along the way we had to sort out:
Road Block Number 1: Prime Numbers. Some times you get double prime numbers like when you roll a 1 and a 3. 13 sucks and so does 31. So if students could fit a 1 x 13 rectangle, they had to do that. But if the physically didn't have the space to make ANYTHING work, then they could roll again. That was a big issue we had to clarify.
Road Block Number 2: End of the Game. At the end of the game there is such limited space that many rolls won't work. So, at the end of the game, if students physically can't make any of the factors work for the roll they have, then they can roll again.
Moving forward I would love to get some spinners that have numbers higher than 1-6. The largest number we could work with was 66. I think a few spinners with 1-9 would make it a little more interesting.
Overall, I loved this game to practice multiplication, division, factors, rectangular area, or prep for factoring trinomials like we were doing. What other variations could you see adding to the game to make it more interesting? Any ideas?
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