Monday, March 31, 2014

McDonalds Monopoly Boards - Algebra Style

Algebra 1 is full of so many connections, but I feel that too often my students believe that each lesson is isolated, having nothing to do with the previous one.  In an effort to help my students make these connections, I stole the idea of the monopoly board for my classroom.

I know that if my students were motivated to sit down and try to figures these things out, they could.  If the students already know how to convert standard form of a linear equation to slope-intercept, and they can graph from from slope-intercept, then they don't need to show them how to graph from standard, or even how to write an equation from a graph.  Thus was born the Monopoly Board Algebra Style.

It's certainly not as flashy as McDonald's and I should probably work on that.  That would be cool. 

Each class is split into teams or 3 or 4 that work together to collect monopoly pieces and put them in the correct space on the board.  I teach the outcome in 4 lessons (or more for my lower level classes) and each lesson has an exit ticket with about 4-5 questions.  Here is what saves me a lot of time:  I don't write anything on their exit ticket, I only staple monopoly pieces to their papers as feedback.  If they got one question completely correct, they get 1 monopoly piece.  2 correct, 2 pieces, etc.  When they receive their exit ticket back in class the next day, they work together as a team to determine which questions they got right and to use their monopoly pieces together to tape on the board.  

The columns on the boards are Graph, Table, Slope, Intercepts, Standard Form, and Slope-Intercept Form.  Each row is given something different. 

Below is the file for you:

The first two pages of this file are the monopoly pieces.  I cut these apart, throw away the pieces that say 'given' and put the remaining pieces in a paper bag.
Pages 3 and 4 of the document are the monopoly board.  I copy these 1-2 sided and give one board to each group.

After the students are done learning the outcome, I collect their monopoly boards.  For each row that is complete and correct, I give each student in the group a piece of paper to write their name on. For instance, if a group got four rows completely correct, each member of the group would get four papers.  Then we have a chinese auction.

Using the classroom funds, I purchased scented markers, glow in the dark bracelets.  a whoopee cushion, mustache duct tape, and a notepad.  The students will put their papers in the paper bags for the items they would like to win.  I pick a name out the bag and that person gets the prize.

Yeah, yeah, the chinese auction is fun and I'm well aware of intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation.  But the real learning takes place when I hear the students talking about the monopoly pieces and where to put them.  Just getting started is a huge learning experience for them.  A nice little bonus:  I saw students trading duplicated pieces they had and even giving them away to other groups.  


  1. This is awesome! Thanks so much for sharing this!!

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