Overheard in class: "We'll take the Ferrari"

Preparation for Friday's test included a rousing game of "Road Rally Race Track." We were divided into seven teams and each assigned a little car on the white board, ranging from a taxi, a marker-drawn hooptie, and a Ferrari. Every team wanted to be the Ferrari.

Then we solved problems chosen from four categories: Polynomial Operations, Fun with Factoring, Exercise with Exponents, and All Mixed Up. With every right answer, each team got to move up a spot or two on the white board. For the first half of the game, my team was leading, I'm happy to say. But we fell behind after three teams elected to move our car back a few steps, when they answered correctly on a special "Race Hazard" question.

The game led to some yelling and grandstanding among the teams. After a lot of practice and a little lecture, it was pretty energizing at the early hour. And the questions were hard enough that I had to ask my teammates for help and rework a few of them.

I'm writing a story about video games and learning about the debates surrounding bringing them into classrooms -- mixing too much fun with work. But non-virtual games are played in schools all the time. Some games are tired and unchallenging (No more Bingo, please!!). But tougher and more imaginative games that make way for competition, interaction and a little pressure can be an ideal way to practice what you are learning.

By Michael Alison Chandler  |  December 3, 2008; 11:42 AM ET  | Category:  Class Time
Previous: Indian Math for Americans | Next: Friday Quiz, Take 2


From the title, I'd hoped you were playing racetrack. It's a fun game about vectors.

Just get some graph paper and two different colored pens, and you're set.

Posted by: PseudoNoise | December 3, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I thought I was the only person who remembered Racetrack... my dad and I used to play it back in the 70's!

Posted by: charlesmor | December 10, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

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