Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Practice Structures - Old Maid

My goal during the summer is to blog at least once a week.  I've failed pretty miserably with this so far this year.  One of my goals was to blog about my favorite practice structures.  Let's be honest, a lot of the content in high school math is either inapplicable (I'm looking at you polynomial long division) or requires lots of practice to build fluency.  So, although I do like to try to do one project with honest to goodness real world application for each unit or marking period, I still need something engaging to do with kids to help them practice.

The practice structure that I am sharing today is Old Maid.

I love having my kids practice the most basic skills (ones that require little to no writing) by playing card games.  One sad side note is that I usually need to give directions on how to play these games because apparently, parents don't play games with their kids anymore.

So, I just now created a new version of Old Maid for my first unit in algebra 2 for next year.  I googled for directions for the game, an image for my cards, and a worksheet that had the types of problems that I wanted to practice.

Then I opened a powerpoint and went copy/paste crazy, did a little editing, and voila, a new game.

I will use this game at my collaborative station in my hybrid learning classroom. This means that I will need to copy and cut out 3 decks of cards, which is not too bad.  I'll print them in landscape orientation with 4 slides per page.  Then I'll just make 2 cuts down the middle vertically and horizontally.

If you want to know what the heck hybrid learning is, you can read more here, especially the posts dated from 7/3/15-7/9/15.

Here is the finished product.  Enjoy!


  1. This is an AWESOME idea! Thank you for sharing... I can't wait to try "old maid" in my classes :)

  2. Thanks! My kids love it. They enjoy playing, but don't feel bad about 'losing' like can sometimes happen with games. I think it helps to know there is some chance involved. Just make sure to do this with problems that can be solved quickly. The fun of the game is ruined if it takes too long for kids to solve each problem.