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Silent Board Game for Finding Function Rules

The Silent Board Game is a strategy to help students practice finding and writing the rule for a function.

I was introduced to the silent board game strategy at a session on “Fun Functions: Active and Interesting Function Activities” hosted by CPM at the 2016 Summer Conference of the Oklahoma Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Setting up the Silent Board Game

When I entered the session that the room was in, one of the first things I noticed was a laminated strip of paper taped to the wall.

CPM Silent Board Game for Functions

You could also use technology to project an input/output table on the screen for students to see.

CPM Silent Board Game for Functions

CPM offers a PDF file with several examples of silent board game tables that can be downloaded.

Running the Activity

This is truly meant to be a silent board game. This kind of surprised me during the workshop even though the word silent is in the title of the activity.

In the workshop I attended, the facilitator would hold up her dry erase marker in the air until someone raised their hand.

She would hand them the dry erase marker, and they would walk to the board and silently fill in an output value.

If the output value was correct, there was silence.

If the output value was incorrect, there was still silence, but the facilitator would walk to the board and erase the incorrect value.

CPM Silent Board Game for Functions

This continued until the board was filled.  Then, we moved on and silently filled in the rule for the function and the functions’ growth rate.

Adapting the Activity

One participant in the session suggested a tweak to this activity: have a graph where students plot each point after adding it to the table.  This could help students see if the function was linear, exponential, etc.

I found a tweet from Bowie Middle School where they showed a coordinate plane next to their silent board game table.

More Activities for Teaching Functions