Monday, August 20, 2012


Bingo has always been one of my go to review games.  It can really be played with any topic and most kids enjoy it.  An added bonus is that for me, it usually ends in the period ending and the kids begging me for just one more problem, pleassssse.  And how often do you really get kids begging for more math problems??!

So bingo itself is nothing new, and I've been playing it with kids as long as I've been teaching, but it wasn't until this year that I figured out a way of playing that I am really happy with.

Until this year, I would put up one problem at a time (using the overhead, smartboard, projector or whatever I was using at the time), have the kids solve and then mark off the answer on their board.  I'd move onto the next problem and repeat.

What I do now, works so so much better for me.  I start off using Kuta to generate a worksheet with all the problems I want to play with.  I do 24 problems and then I just go through to make sure no answers are repeated.

I print out a worksheet that looks like this and takes me all of like 5 minutes to make and an answer key with all 24 answers.

Next I open up my BINGO template that I use for every game and type the answers into the boxes at the bottom so the board looks like this.
When the kids come in they get the board and as their do now they fill each of the 24 answers into a box above wherever they want.  Then when they're finished I give each one of them the worksheet with all the questions.

So instead of giving the kids one problem at a time, I give them all of the problems right up front.  Then to play I use a random number generator on the smartboard to randomly choose numbers from 1-24.  As we pick numbers I jot them down on the board to keep track of what's been picked.  Sometimes I'll have a particular problem I want them to do so in that case I'll just give them a number to do.

The kids then solve that problem from their worksheet and mark off the answer.  I keep the answer key with me in a clear plastic sleeve and use a dry erase marker to mark off the answer that was just picked. I don't have to try to solve any problems, or make a list of answers or anything.  Then each period all I need to do is erase my answer key and start fresh.

What's nice about this is that there's no kids screaming at me not to take down the problem if they're not done since they have the problem on their paper.  It's also really nice for the kids that finish a problem quickly because they'll just start to solve other problems.  They have no idea what number will be called next so they may or may not be doing one that will be picked but they feel like they're getting ahead of the game which they like.  

For the most part I only play one game per period (45 mins) and the timing has always worked out.  I'll just keep playing until we get like 3-5 winners.  We don't usually finish the worksheet so then their homework will be to finish.  If the test is the next day they I'll also send them home with a copy of the answer key so they can check their answers.

I like doing 24 problems because that way the kids know that every answer should be on their board somewhere.  If they get an answer that isn't on the board then it means they made a mistake so there's that element of self-assessment.  Another option though to mix up the game would be to make a worksheet with more than 24 answers and then have kids choose 24 numbers to write on their board.  That way not everyone will have every answer on their board and it would make the game last a little longer if the problems are quick ones.

So does anyone play BINGO differently? I'd love to hear the logistics of how other people make their game work.  I feel like everyone else might already be playing like this and I was just really late figuring it out...


  1. Such a simple idea giving them all the problems but a great one. Why didn't I think of that! ;-)

  2. I really like this - this is a great way to do practice in class. I also love that you give them all the problems up front and they can choose how to place the answers. Great activity! Thanks for sharing!
    --Lisa (@lmhenry9)

  3. I love the way you do Bingo! I had been doing it by having the kids solve and find the answers and I was finding that some kids weren't even attempting because they knew they wouldn't be able to finish it on time! Thanks for sharing!
    ☼ Kate
    To The Square Inch

  4. Had to bookmark this because I love this idea!

  5. I love playing BINGO as a review, but I love this idea even more! I had never thought of doing it this way! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Love this idea!! I will definitely be using it. Thanks for sharing : )

  7. I'm not sure your method could be improved upon - totally sending this out to the entire department tomorrow as several are planning to use Kuta for all of their worksheets this year

  8. I'll definitely be using this idea...such an easy way to transform a worksheet! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Thanks for informative post. like to share with my friends and would like to read more post like bingo in Canada.

  10. Aweseome idea. So much simpler. I can also use it for individual work and have them come see me when they score a bingo.

  11. I love this idea...thanks ;) I want to use it this week but I have a few questions:
    Do have any students who try to change the location of the answer to get BINGO? or do you have them write it in pen? Do you do 5 in a row or how have you played that works best? How do students mark their answers on the board or do they shade it or use bingo chips?


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