# Snowball Fight – Solving Equations Activity

One of my favorite solving equations activities is to have a classroom snowball fight. Read on to learn more!

## Inspiration for this Activity

In 2011, Kate Nowak wrote a blog post featuring a getting to know you activity that involved making paper snowballs and throwing them around the classroom.

I remembered this activity about a month into the school year when I didn’t need a getting to know you activity. But I did need a fun way to review solving equations.

Before the quiz, I wanted to find a way to discuss common errors to avoid in solving equations without any students thinking that I was picking on them.Â  Introduce the snowballs.Â

## Setting Up the Activity

Funny story.  When I told my 7th period that we would be having a snowball fight today, one student informed me that she didn’t think that would work because it was still summer…

Give each student a sheet of scrap paper.Â  I keep a box of paper that is clean on one side in my classroom for random activities like this.Â

Yes, each student will have to investigate what is on the back of their sheet of paper.Â  Comparisons will take place.Â

Some students will try to increase their social standing among their peers based on the fact that the back of their page is cooler than that of the other students.

Project 10 equations on the screen.Â  Tell each student to pick an equation and write it on their sheet of paper.Â

Repeatedly remind them that they are only writing the equation, not solving it.Â  Expect to have at least one student solve the equation even though you asked them not to.

## Similar Posts

1. Unknown says:

A. I love this activity. It sounds like a real blast, and finding safe ways to introduce mistakes and have the students find them and fix them is also a big plus.

B. After school today, on one of my desks, I saw that a student had written (verbatim): "We are never getting back together." It was pretty bizarre to see that on one of your snow balls as well.

1. Unknown says:

It's a Taylor Swift song

2. Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove) says:

Ha ha. Good to know!

2. Unknown says:

This is seriously awesome! I am going to have to put this into place for review as well. ðŸ™‚

3. Unknown says:

It's a Taylor Swift song and I've used it a few times in class. For instance: "we will never, ever ever find a solution. Like ever." I just say it and then they think it's "so cool that a teacher knows that type of music!" Oh middle schoolers.

I've used the snowball fight activity and they really like it. With my students I always need to set ground rules and my biggest one is that if they hit a civilian (aka me) they have to sit out of the next round. It helps keep them it fun without getting out of control. I love the idea of making a mistake on purpose and because of the snowball fight, the kids don't know whether it was someone who did it on purpose or someone who tried to do it right. It takes off a lot of the pressure. I'll definitely be using that.

I also find it interesting you're already doing equations. We started mid-August and are going to start writing equations the end of next week and then get into solving them. It's fun to see how different schools move through the curriculum.

4. Unknown says:

I love this idea! Thank you for sharing all your ideas! Your blog is awesome! I just stumbled upon it last night when I was searching for "Algebra 1 Snowball fight". I'm looking forward to following it. I teach Algebra 1 and Geometry in Texas.

5. Sarah P says:

I have used this type of activity for vocabulary review (one person writes a vocab word and one person writes a definition) or matching graphs to equations. I love the idea of them solving the problem then grading someone's mistake to have a discussion without peer scrutiny. I am going to use this for a quick fun review of solving equations before we get into solving systems of equations with substitution. Thanks! Love all your creative ideas on your blog!

1. Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove) says:

You're very welcome! And, I love the other ideas you shared for using this activity! I'm going to have to try some of these out later this semester.

6. Anonymous says:

This is hilarious! I am going to have so much fun with this!!!

1. Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove) says:

Enjoy!

7. Anonymous says:

I am actually a student that has to teach the class about distance formula and I am going to use this thank you for the great idea

8. Unknown says:

My family actually played this snowball game at a family outing writing down a fact about yourself that nobody knew. Same process was followed. I can definitely see using this in my class.

1. Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove) says:

Very cool!