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Solving Equations Auction Review Game

Well, after attending the Global Math Department‘s meeting over favorite review games, I knew I had to try out Alisan Royster‘s Review Auction idea. I created a Solving Equations Auction Review Game.

solving equations auction review game

I made up an auction sheet with 3 columns. The first column is pretty boring and just featured the lot number of each auction. The middle column had 10 equations to solve. The right-most column had 10 answers. Some of the answers were correct. Others weren’t. I gave the students time to solve each equation and decide whether my answers were correct or incorrect. This was much harder for them than expected. When I gave them the answer, they didn’t know what to do. They felt like they had to use that piece of information somehow to solve the problem. After a few reminders that we were still just trying to get the variable by itself, the students caught on. 

Solving Equations Auction Review Game for Algebra

Depending on the class size, I broke the class into groups of 3 or 4.  I announced that we were going to have a solving equations auction.

Present each group with their own paddle to bid with.

Solving Equations Auction Review Game for Algebra

Yes, every one will want to be the one to hold the paddle.

Each group gets $1,000.

In their group, the students need to compare their answers.  Which equations have the correct answers given?  Which answers were incorrect?

The goal of the review game is to be the team that purchases the most correct questions.  Purchasing an incorrect question will cause you to lose an additional $500.

If there is a tie, the team with the most money left over wins.

The auction starts.  Each group decides how much they want question one.  Debates ensue over whether the answer I gave was correct or not.  Students disagree.  Decisions must be made.  This is a fast-paced auction, after all.

After all the questions have been auctioned off, we worked out each problem on the Smart Board.  We counted up how many correct questions were purchased by each team.  Yes, there will be the teams that spend almost all of their money on one question.  Then, there will be the teams that are too frugal with their money and end up with lots of money and only a single question in their possession.

Winners were crowned.  Tootsie Rolls were distributed.  Fun was had by all.

One student claimed that she helped her team win because she used to work at an auction house.  Another student came up to me after class and told me that he learned his team’s winning strategy by watching Auction Hunters.

One of my wrong answers actually fooled some students.  It highlighted a very common mistake.  My other wrong answers, however, didn’t fool a single student all day long.  But, I guess that’s okay because it means my students knew how to solve equations.

Free Download of Solving Equations Auction Review Game

Solving Equations Auction (PDF) (1729 downloads )

Solving Equations Auction (WORD DOC) (852 downloads )

Want more auction fun in your classroom? Check out my Function Auction and my Linear Auction.


Tuesday 23rd of January 2018

Hi - Do you by chance have the answers to the equations? I am doing some stuff on a v volunteer basis for my son't school. so am not a "real" math teacher and want to be able to check my own work! Thank you. I love the idea. Nicki

Jennifer Uribe

Wednesday 3rd of January 2018

I totally did this today with my 7th graders. I was terrified about how I would explain it to them and how they would react. They loved it!! Once they got the hang of bidding, it got a little crazy. If I'm going to change anything, it will be to have a smaller number of groups. I had 5 and that made things a little crazy. I have smaller class sizes, so I think I can get away with 3 or 4 groups with more members.

Thanks for this awesome idea! It was a great way to start the first day of the new semester!


Monday 15th of February 2016

I love this idea! We've played Bingo and Kahoot to review and I am looking for something different. How did you start the auction? Did you start with $100 for the first problem? And in what increments did you go up? How did you take away the $500 when they bought the wrong answer- at that time or at the end? Thanks.

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Friday 19th of February 2016

I gave each group a set amount of money to start with, but I don't remember how much it was. Just make the starting amount and increments work with each other, and you'll be fine. The $500 was taken away at the very end.


Saturday 3rd of October 2015

I adapted this idea and have used it a couple times this year (for identifying functions and for Domain/Range). I shot a table, set of ordered pairs, or a graph on the board and had the students decide if it was or was not a function. They showed me that side of the paddle. Then I randomly chose one student who had it correct to explain why. With the domain/range activity I put up a graph and either the domain or range of that graph. They had to decide which one I was showing them. I was a little nervous at first that my students would club eachother over the heads with the paint stir-sticks, but they were awesome. All 3 times I've pulled them out we have gone through the slides I've made and they ask me to come up with more on the spot. This was ingenious!!

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Sunday 4th of October 2015

Very cool, Angela! Thanks for sharing!

K Soltesz

Monday 10th of March 2014

Just tried this in class - awesome! Loved how it made them "talk Algebra" in their groups before we auctioned. Thanks for the worksheet - I tweaked it a little to what we were learning but the concept is awesome!

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Wednesday 16th of April 2014

This is GREAT to hear!

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