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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Speed Dating in Math Class

I was sitting in my observation classroom of Trevor Kuzee 7th grade math class. He told his students if they did everything today, they could do a game of speeding dating at the end of the day to review for the up coming quiz. All of the 7th grades became very excited for speeding dating, while i was thinking in my head: "Why in the world is he doing speed dating in his 7th grade classroom? What does this have to do with math?"

As the students finished their final practice quizzes on the computer, Trevor started passing out the papers for speed dating and of course he hands one to me. The sheet is not a questionnaire to fill out but 20 different math problems about what they went over in class for the day. He told his students that I would be included in the speed dating round and who is able to explain the game. 

Here is how the game goes: 

Speed Dating
1. timer 
2. worksheet of math problems able to do within a set time 
3. pencils 

How To Play: 
1) As a class figure out what side of the table will be moving while the other side sits in place
2) Tell the students how long they have to work on the problem (ours was one minute)*
3) tell the students the number to work on (Trevor jumper around the page so they were not going in order) 
4) the students will work on the problem, and if they need help they can ask their "date" for help
5) when the time is up: call on a student to give the answer to the question they worked on 
6) change seats!
7) repeat 

*for harder problems allow more time for the students

Students thinking 
This game was a great way to see the student's thinking in action. I noticed some students did the whole worksheet in a couple of rounds and then just went desk to desk helping their "dates" with the problems if they needed it. I also noticed some students struggled with simple addition and subtraction of negative numbers and they used algebra titles on the side of the paper to help their thinking processes. I also helped a couple of students who though they had the correct answer but then told them to rethink the problem and they found their mistakes. This game also allows immediate feedback on the students work. They know whether they have the answer right or wrong because they have a partner who can confirm the answer and the also have a student telling the whole class what the answer should be. 

This is a great review game to use for students of any age for any type of Math class! Thank you Trevor for using this game the day I came in and observed! 


  1. Good review activity. I did this in a workshop today too (as a participant). We were answering get-to-know-you questions and initial ideas about the topic.

    complete: if you saw student thinking - add it in!
    clear, coherent, consolidated, content +

  2. This is actually a terrific idea. I really enjoy the timed part of it because understanding and knowledge can be assessed in a good way through this without having consequences to this. Also, the idea of being able to have someone to lay back on with answering the question is also very smart because it causes students to step out of their comfort zone and ask for help because they want to answer the question within the time allowed.

    One question that I would have for this is if having questions previously made would be good or if students could come up with their own to have others answer. The date could be the one that came up with the question so that they would be able to administer help in a timely fashion since this is timed. Hmm, possibility?

  3. This sounds like a really fun activity! I think it's always great to make sure we add some fun into our class while also making sure we are doing meaningful mathematics. I like how you observed the different thinking styles as well.

  4. Oops I published that before I was finished...I like Nick's idea of having some of the students create the questions too and involving them in the assessment process. Maybe the worksheet could have some pre written questions and some blank spaces for students to create their own questions too.

  5. The question creation idea that Nick proposed could be a great expansion to this cool activity! Also, I think a few challenge questions could be thrown in and you could add in a group date with 4 people. Their is so much you can add to this activity I really like it!

    I wonder if the students will get tired of it eventually. I am sure they will, but if he keeps varying it up I bet they will continue to enjoy it. I am learning a lot recently about the balance between over using an activity and using it a fair amount and in ways that keep it fresh for students to keep their minds active and keep them from becoming bored.