Unit Review Game: Trashball

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SWBAT to use functions to solve a variety of problems.

Big Idea

Use Trashball to review the important concepts of this unit.

Review Game

30 minutes

I like to incorporate games into review for upcoming assessments. At the end of the year students say that they really enjoy them and it helps them prepare well.  As student are working on the individual problems during the game, you really get a sense of the mood in the room. As their teacher, it is a good way to gauge what your students know.

I like to establish a few norms when we play games:

1. There is no prize, so there is no reason to cheat or get mad at a team member if they don't get the question right.

2. The goal is to understand during tomorrow's assessment, so feel free to whisper to another teammate or check your notes if you think that will help.

3. In order to get the question right, you must explain your thinking. Having the answer is not enough if you can't explain where it came from.


For Trashball I set the recycle bin in front of the room and have masking tape on the floor that denotes the 1 point shot, the 3 point shot, and the 5 point shot. The 5 point shot is usually about ten feet away from the recycle bin and the others are closer. There is also a 50 point shot on the opposite side of the room.

I start by choosing a problem from the (Assignment - Unit Review) for students to work on. I give them a minute or two to complete it. Once that time is up I randomly select a student. If they get the question right and can explain their process, then their team gets one point. Then, they get to shoot the trashball (taped up crumpled paper) for bonus points. They get to choose where to shoot from. I alternate teams with each problem. If someone gets the question wrong, I go to the next team and choose someone else.

We won't do every single problem together since there is not enough time, but I usually pick about 8 or so to do. I like to reserve the more challenging problems for them to work on alone so that they can have extended time to work on it.

Individual Help

25 minutes