Kakooma Friendly Competition via Skype

By: Mary Kienstra on: November 30, 2014  in: competition, Engagement,

IMG_1181Kakooma Challenge is a weekly favorite in my math class.  I’ve found that a bit of competition raises the engagement level.  Since I tell everyone I know about how I use Kakooma (www.gregtangmath.com) to teach everything from rounding to statistics, my friend who teaches in another school in our district challenged my class to a competition.  That class, across town from us, was convinced that they could beat us. We decided to hold a friendly Kakooma competition via Skype.

The set up was interesting.  We needed to use the laptop, projector and SmartBoard for the kids to play Kakooma, so we had another projector and laptop for Skype and projected that onto the wall.  It took a few minutes for the kids to get accustomed to watching the other class on the side wall, but it worked out well.  We agreed ahead of time on the “rules” of our game so that there were no surprises on game day.

We started by saying hello to our “friends” via Skype and waving at each other awkwardly.  A designated student from each class faced the camera and played “Rock, Paper, Scissors” to determine which class would go first.  From there, the game was on.  Each class sent a group to the board to play a game of Kakooma, Level 7 Hard.   Scorekeepers from each class recorded the scores and the competition proceeded, taking turns as groups from each class played.

Group of students playing KakoomaAfter all the groups had played the game, students analyzed the scores to determine the mean time for each class.  The scores were relatively close, with my class winning by 4.0 seconds.  Before we signed off of Skype, we had a “virtual handshake” in front of the camera and told our new “friends” goodbye, for now.

We hope to do this again as it was an outstanding experience for all of us.  Once again, we had taken our students beyond the classroom walls for a transforming experience.  This was math engagement at its finest – all students were working and collaborating.  A little competition brings that engagement to a new level.

What have you done with your students to take them outside of your classroom?  How have you used Skype to transform a learning experience?  Please share!

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