Help me think through this y’all.

I love, love, love March Madness and all that is tournament time; my dear friend and AP English teacher sets up a bracket every year and her students debate the merits of different pieces of literature until they have a winner. [I’ll try to upload a picture of her brilliance once she starts it this year.] I’ve been trying to figure out a way to incorporate that into math for years with no success. UNTIL NOW. I think. I hope. OH, I really, really hope.

Here’s my plan. Sorry for the brain-dump format–I’m still thinking through it.

- Double elimination [I have 2 classes, total of 31 students, dispersed nicely so I can have 6 teams in one class, 4 in the other; however, all teams are competing in the same bracket.]
- Students assigned randomly to a team. Day one: Come up with a team name.
- I think I will have about 12 matches with 10 teams. For each match, I am going to create a set of review problems (after all, that test is approaching quickly) some worth 1 point (easy, fill-in-the-blank or vocab, some worth 2 points (more “show your work” type questions, some worth 3 points (harder, more parts). I am trying to stay away from pure multiple choice so they can’t just “guess”. Given the time factor I have to work with in each period, they won’t have time to do full FRQ’s either.
- Teams get 10 minutes to work problems.
- After 10 minutes, teams trade papers. We grade. I have good kids–I think they can handle grading either other’s work. I thought about collecting them, but I need it to go fast. Super fast.
- Team with most points in each match = the winner (duh).
- Once a team is eliminated, they will still get the questions to work each day–after all, it is for test review–they will just check their own work and not be part of the tournament anymore.
- Naturally, I need to find a super-cool, highly sought-after and coveted, not-found-at-your-local-Walmart prize for the winning team. I’m still working on that one.

Okay peeps and tweeps. What issues do you see when you read through this? What have I forgotten or not thought about?

I’ll holler back at ‘cha after we do it, with pictures and (hopefully) problem sets in case you want to give it a whirl in your classroom.