Getting Your Class Ready for Algebra Challenge
It is recommended you reserve at least two days with at least 35 minutes of game time on each day. Depending on the math and reading level of your students, this minimal time should allow most of them to complete mastery at our introductory level and some of the to master the intermediate level. It is likely that to master the advanced or challenge levels that the students will need either more classroom time or to complete bonus play at home.
Preview the Tools
Get familiar with Riddle Books and the Copilot tool! You can:
Confirm Riddle Books is compatible with your system
Visit the Riddle Books overview page
Check out Common Core Compatibility and meet the problem types
Preview the Copilot
The Copilot system allows you to easily set up a class. The class code assigned to the class is how the students will connect to you. You get to decide if you want to set up their accounts for them or the students create the accounts themselves. At no point is any personal information required from the students. The system only needs a unique user name for your class – first and last name is asked as a convenience for you but is never used elsewhere.We want to hear your thoughts about our Algebra Challenge Events!
Now that you have signed up – it’s time to get started! Here are a few ideas to help you plan your week out in the classroom using Riddle Books.
A Week With Riddle Books: Sample Classroom Strategies
The First Day
The first day will be filled with excitement. You may want to mention that part of the fun/challenge of this game is not figuring out the answer but figuring out what model represents the problem. The goal of the game is really to figure out the model and then turn that model into an equation.
During the game, monitor the students by walking around and also by checking the live dashboard. Slow progress or lots of red marks for a student is an invitation to discuss with that student their strategy and thinking. The most important thing is that they are having fun and that they can explain what they are doing.
After about 20 minutes of game play, it’s suggested you stop the game and have a brief discussion related to what they are learning and why they are doing this (similar to the kind of break you might take while watching a movie). Most research shows that this type of intervention is critical to learning. Limit this discussion to 5 minutes. Some possible questions to discuss:
• Did anyone discover a trick that seems to work often?
• Did anyone come across a problem that they needed to skip? Can they describe it?
• Can anyone describe a problem that the solved?
• Did anyone get a problem that thought was funny? Can they describe it?
• Can anyone describe a problem that involved addition (subtraction/multiplication/division/fractions)?
Have the students continue playing the game for another 15-20 minutes.
After the play session, de-brief the class in a similar manner that you did between games. You may wish to do a formative assessment or an exit ticket at this time. (See examples for each problem type)
The second day should more or less follow the same pattern as the first with 20 minutes of game play, a short discussion, 20 minutes of play, discussion, and exit ticket. This day may be challenging for both you and the students as the subject matter will become more diverse as some students move forward while others continue to master material from the previous day.
While you can get a great experience in Riddle Books in just two days of class time – we have some additional activities and suggestions to help round out your week with more activities.
On day three, it may be worth working a couple of multiplication/division problems on the board. Some students will have already mastered these while others will be continuing to work on them.
For day four, we recommend working through a couple of fraction problems on the board. Some students will have already mastered these while others will be continuing to work on them.
As an enticing alternate activity for more creative readers and writers, you might break students into groups and have them write their own word problems. These problems can be mailed to CGS and some will be chosen to be in future versions of Riddle Books.
Ready for day five? Not all classrooms may have the time (or student interest) but if you do, consider engaging students by working a couple of two-step problems on the board. Some students will have already mastered these while others will be continuing to work on them. Some students may complete all levels on this day.