One of my favorite things about teaching is when I’m reminded that teenagers can still have fun with dorky games, and one of the games my students LOVE to play is Bingo. They are totally obsessed with winning (as if there is anything they can do to enhance the outcome), and they request to play it constantly, especially the kids who “never” win. I may be encouraging a future bad habit, and I won’t be surprised if I see half these glued kids to the slot machines when they’re old enough to gamble, but anything that keeps them motivated to do math problems is worth investing time into.
Prepping for BINGO isn’t too difficult, but the problem is that I don’t want the kids to all have the same card, so I usually have them fill it in themselves, which takes up valuable class time. I was excited to discover this free web-based app called Bingo Baker. This is a very simple tool in which you enter a list of words or numbers, and the app generates random BINGO cards for you.
Once you hit the “Generate” button, Bingo Baker creates a unique URL which now stores your board (so make sure to bookmark it for your reference! You can just grab it from the address bar). You can print 8 different versions of your card in pdf format , and if you purchase the full app for $9.95, you can print out dozens more. If your class has access to computers though, the real power in this app is through the “Play Online” link, which we’ll check out next.
“Play Online” takes you to a screen in which your students can actually play BINGO via their laptop or tablet. After you hit “Play Online”, simply grab the URL from the address bar and direct your students there. The best part about the card is that if they hit refresh, it rearranges the BINGO squares, generating a new BINGO sheet on the fly so that everyone has a different card. They can hit refresh as many times as they like if they want to make sure their card is totally unique (because you know you’ll hear complaints of cheating if two people have the same card 😛 ). The students can tap on any square to highlight it so they can keep track of their score. So simple yet so cool!
Because I am using this for material review, I will be asking questions to go along with the answers in the squares, so I’ll plan on keeping those in a Google Doc, along with a link to the board in the same file. Better yet, I’m also planning on having the students generate games for me, so I’m a winner too 😀
More posts on games to come soon, so keep an eye out!