I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. I was glad to see the Math Basketball post, my History/Government teacher in high school had us play what he simply called “The Review Game” and had us throwing a soft ball at an area of the white board he had covered in marker so he could tell if we hit it or not. (We could opt to try to catch the heater, where he threw the ball at us as hard as he could–that was the popular choice, of course.) I had always planned to play some variation on that with my math students but was worried about the logistics of answering math questions rather than history questions. I am pleased to see that it is not an issue.

  2. I enjoy a fun review game as much as the next guy, but I’m a bit wary about games that depend on “speed” as the factor to be able to be a featured participator. In my experiences, there are about 5 kids in every class who have the confidence and competitive spirit to strive to be the first one done. Meanwhile, the other students just kind of wait for those 5 to “duke it out” (or pass them the answer). In Dan’s posting for math basketball, he did add a key accountability component to his review game when he wrote:

    “Have the students turn in a paper with all their work on it. I make a big deal about this so everyone works the math through even if they don’t all shoot. Toss these papers after the last student leaves.”

    I’m just curious how people structure review games like these to maximize participation and emphasize accuracy and not speed. Thoughts to share????

  3. This isn’t actually a speed game at all. I guess there’s a little bit… because kids want to throw. But once one person has stood up and correctly answered the question… they can’t stand up again. So the quick kids are weeded out fairly quick. Additionally, they all have to turn in the review questions at the end of class. So they have to participate.

  4. Adam:

    I’ve always played “review baseball”- where students get “hits” and based on how correct they are (or speed, or how many) determines if they get a single, double, or triple. Students have something to fill out even when it isn’t their turn to bat, sometimes. But I ensure participation by students whose team is in the field by saying they “dropped the ball” and the other team got an extra base if they aren’t focused. Likewise, waiting “batters” can “run slow” and get an out for their team if they aren’t participating.