How To...Implement Activities

In my own personal effort to #ExpandMTBoS, I'm starting a new category of blog posts called 'How To' so I can share the strategies behind the resource. I hope new and veteran teachers alike can find something useful. Click on the tag to the right for more posts!

Thanks to mathbythemountain for suggesting this post; after my last post, she asked me to explain each activity.

So here goes!

  • Dry Erase Practice: my students can write on their desks with dry erase markers so I guess you could just call this desk practice. If I have problems prepared, then they work it on the desk and I show the answer. If I don't, then I walk around and look at their work, Or both.
  • Task Cards: these are kind of popular now but basically they are problems printed individually on cardstock. I set them on the whiteboard ledge and students or groups come get one card and work it and then return it. Each group should only have one card. Sometimes the cards have answers on them so they can self-check. Sometimes I walk around with an answer key.
  • Investigation: for me, this is basically a scaffolded activity that leads them through new instruction. It usually involves a lot of questions, maybe some color coding, maybe some matching, sorting, or calculator directions.
  • Desmos: So far I have only used Activity Builder, which is amazing, but over the summer they introduced marble slides and card sorts so I can't wait to use those. Desmos is also great for verifying things with graphs, showing visuals, and introducing transformations.
  • Card Sort: these are my favorite of all time and I plan on blogging a 'how to' post about creating them. Basically, if there is something you know students mix up or something they never notice, make a card sort out of it. Ask them to sort the pieces into groups and explain how they sorted. Then give them hints until they find it such as: you should have four groups, each group should have the same amount, etc. SO much more meaningful than you just telling students to look for or pay attention to something- let them discover it on their own.
  • Grudge Ball: link here 
  • Row Game: link here 
  • Four in a Row: link here
  • Triples: usually a set of 15 problems, students in pairs/groups work them out and then at the end they sort into 5 groups of 3 that have the same answer. If they can't find three cards with the same answer, they work together to find their mistakes

Activities that Involve Movement:
  • Chalk Talk: link here
  • Centers/Stations: students rotate to stations that focus on different topics; answer key to previous station provided after rotating; usually used to review.
  • Cornhole Review: link here 
  • Gallery Walk: link here
  • Hedbanz: link here  
  • Pong Review: link here
  • Scavenger Hunt: link here 
  • Speed Dating: link here
  • Trashketball: tape a line on the floor some distance away from the trash can and set out a ream of paper. Students work in groups, everyone works the problem, the group answer that is correct sends one person to shoot. Make up your own rules. I put tape for 2 and 3 pointers. If they don't get the problem correct then they don't get to shoot.
  • Vertical Whiteboards: link here

Next up I will explain the assessments mentioned in my previous post. Thanks again Audrey!


  1. Thanks for sharing this list! I know it'll be a great resource in the middle of the year when I need inspiration.

  2. Thank you so much for this post! I didn't realize how many you had already written about, but it's fabulous to have them all in one place. Bookmarked! I'm looking forward to adding them into the mix this year.