[by Andy Pulham]
Initially I used “pick a student” app on my phone to allocate pupils to groups of three completely randomly.
Then gave them the sheet, telling them that the answers to the problems were progressively harder. I thought this might enable them to allocate the harder questions to the better pupils. Not sure that they did! Mostly they seemed to allocate questions randomly, or gave each member an easy, a medium and a harder question.
I made up the points system and some of it was actually redundant as no groups asked for help. Self differentiation? No one seemed to pick up that it might have been worthwhile to ask for the answer in the later questions as a penalty of 10 points was a price worth paying in these.
I introduced the time penalty at the last minute as some groups were taking ages to add up the numbers. They were allowed calculators.
It worked well as an exercise, and it was good to see the way they worked within the groups. I got them to explain their strategies at the end.
Downsides – some of the weaker kids did not get much of a look in as the brighter ones dominated. It is possible, but unlikely, that a series of mistakes could result in a correct total!
Rules of the Game
Use the lowest set of whole numbers to balance each equation.
Include “1” as a balancing number.
If you want me to check an equation, you can, but you are awarded 2 penalty points.
If you can’t solve an equation, you can ask me for the answer, but you will pick up 10 more penalty points.
You need to add up ALL the balancing numbers to reach a grand total. The closer you are to the correct answer, the fewer penalty points you pick up. The team with the fewest penalty points wins the game. In the event of a tie, there is a “sudden death” decider.
Time is short – 20 mins – by which time you need to give me a final grand total. You will gain 5 penalty points for every minute you keep me waiting!
There are prizes!
- __KOH + __HCl → __KCl + __H2O
- __C + __O2 → __CO
- __CO + __O2 → __CO2
- __H2SO4 + __KOH → __K2SO4 + __H2O
- __N2 + __H2 → __NH3
- __Fe2O3 + __Al → __Al2O3 + __Fe
- __Fe2O3 + __CO → __Fe + __CO2
- __Fe2O3 + __C → __Fe + __CO2
- __H3PO4 + __Ca(OH)2 → __Ca3(PO4)2 + __H2O
- __C9H20 + __O2 → __CO2 + __H2O
Correct grand total:___________
__C9H20 + __NO → __N2 + __CO2 + __H2O