Saturday, September 3, 2011

Math Skype Buddies

Last week we had our first Skype call of the school year with our friends in Nebraska as part of our Teaching Enrichment Activities Time. During this part of the day, we focus on reviewing and applying different math skills in a fun way. And what a better way to review place value than by playing a guessing game!

I choose the game 0-99 Guess from the book, Mega-Fun Math Games: 70 Quick and Easy Games to Build Math Skills by Dr. Michael Schiro and Anna Walker. This book contains many hands-on and engaging activities that are well suited for our TEA Time. First, each team had to select a number from 0-99 and the objective was to have each team ask a series of yes or no questions to guess the opposing team’s number.

I added an extra component by assigning Skype jobs during the game to engage all my students. Here is a list of the jobs we had for this game:

1. Super Stars- These two students greeted our partner class and sat in front of the webcam to ask the yes/no questions.

2. Number Keeper- This student was in charge of writing our class number and referring to it when we were asked questions by our partner class.

3. Runners- I divided my class into two groups so that each group could take turns asking questions to our partner class. I assigned a runner in each group and their job was to obtain the question that was to be asked and whisper it to one of the Super Stars. Runners had to also check with question keepers and problem solvers at their table before delivering their questions to the Super Stars.

4. Question Keepers- I also had one question keeper in each group. Their job was to write down all the questions that we asked in order to ensure that we did not have any duplicate questions.

5. Problem Solvers- I assigned this job to the remaining students in my class. Each problem solver had a laminated 0-99 chart that they could mark on. Their job was to eliminate numbers throughout the game.

Overall, my students had a blast playing the game with another class. They worked well as a team and used their problem solving skills to eliminate numbers. I was also impressed by how they carried out their Skype jobs. We look forward to future calls with our Math Skype Buddies!


  1. Hi Elle,
    I'm definitely going to be borrowing this idea to use with my Skype buddies. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  2. Hi Paula!

    I need to thank you for the idea of Skyping for math in the first place! This is why I love my PLN!



  3. Elvira,

    I really enjoyed this place value game you played with another class through SKYPE. I loved how everyone in the class had a job in this assignment.

    What a neat way to meet some new students and have some fun and competition while learning new math skills. What a great way to also use technology in the classroom!

    The video was really nice too. It definitely helped seeing the game in action and I could tell that the classes really seemed to be getting into the game. I'm sure the class enjoyed making the video too!

    Thanks again for the neat idea and thanks for sharing the link with the fun and easy math games.

    Kathy Zoghby
    edm310 student

  4. Kathy,

    Thank you for your comment! My goal for this post was to capture the excitement and give you an idea of how the game was played. Our students had a fun time and we look forward to playing more games via Skype throughout the school year.

  5. Hi!
    My name is Katie Carlee and I am a student at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I am a student in EDM 310 with John Strange. It is really innovative to make a Skype activity for the class with other classes around the states. The kids seem like they learned a lot and had fun working with other kids in math, so that's what is really important. All the tasks given to the different students was a great way for them to learn to work together, and learn a new skill or better the skill. Math has never been my favorite subject, but if my teachers had come up with something like this, then my perspective would have been completely changed.

  6. Katie,

    Thank you for your comment. I have enjoyed incorporating Skype Jobs during our calls to engage all my students. I also think these games challenge my students to apply skills in real time, which makes it even more authentic! I plan on sharing more activities and projects throughout the year and hope that you can join us in our journey!

  7. I love this, thanks for sharing.

  8. Thanks for sharing this idea! I will be using it in my own classroom.