It is a cooperative game, vaguely modeled on War. Each pair of students is given a deck of cards.
Each student draws two cards, keeping them hidden from their partner. These cards represent the roots of their quadratic function, using the following key:
For example, if Student A draws a red jack and a black 8, then the roots of their quadratic function are and .
Student A turns these two roots into factors:
Student A then multiplies these factors together to give a quadratic function in standard form: .
Meanwhile, Student B has been doing the same thing with their two cards. When both students have finished writing their quadratic functions they share only their functions. They should not share the original roots, because each student is now going to factor their partner’s quadratic function.
Assuming everything goes as planned, both students correctly factor their partner’s quadratic and discover the original roots. If they are correct, those cards go into the discard pile. If they are incorrect, the cards go back into the deck. Play continues until all cards are in the discard pile.
A popular source of confusion was students incorrectly multiplying their binomials leading to a quadratic that didn’t factor. I encouraged students to help each other find mistakes and work through the process (it’s a cooperative practice game, after all).
Extension: Draw more than two cards and make cubic, quartic, etc., polynomials to factor with the rational root theorem.
Álgebra 1 (.docx español)
Álgebra 1 (.pdf español)
Algebra 2 (.docx)
Algebra 2 (.pdf)
Geometry (.docx)
Geometry (.pdf)
]]>
Algebra 1 (.pdf)
Álgebra 1 (.docx español)
Álgebra 1 (.pdf español)
Algebra 2 (.docx)
Algebra 2 (.pdf)
Geometry (.docx)
Geometry (.pdf)
]]>
Algebra 1 (.docx) Algebra 1 (.pdf) 

Algebra 2 (.docx) Algebra 2 (.pdf) 

Geometry (.docx) Geometry (.pdf) 
Álgebra 1 (.pdf español) Algebra 2 (.docx)
Algebra 2 (.pdf) Geometry (.docx)
Geometry (.pdf)
]]>
Algebra 2 (.docx)  
Geometry (.docx) 
Play continues until the period ends or we run out of questions. The winner is the team with the most balloons.
Unlike the physical version I was inspired by, this version takes place entirely in a PowerPoint (the blank template is at the end of the post). Some notes about the file:
Click here to download my blank balloon pop template (.ppt).
I made a few changes in the content of the questions. In particular, on the unit conversion questions I got rid of the information like how many feet are in a mile. I’d like to help my students be more resourceful this year, and that is one step in that direction.
There are no explicit instructions about process being more important than the answer on these, so you’ll need to stress that in class. I remind students that everyone already knows the answer to each of the questions, and that one of the things we’re practicing is explaining our reasoning, thinking, and process. That means, for example, that you have to show all your steps when solving an equation on these, even if you could do it in your head.
Algebra 1 (.docx)  
Algebra 2 (.docx)  
Geometry (.docx) 
I’m presenting my version of it though because I did a little work to find what I think is a better ruleset. One of the problems that you run into if you use the “normal” values for cards (jack = 11, queen = 12, king = 13) is that the majority of the numbers you get (around 60%) aren’t able to be simplified. In my version, 61% of the possible numbers can be simplified, while also having enough variety to keep it interesting. (It’s possible to make almost all of the possibilities simplifiable, but you have to use only 2, 4, 8 and that’s a little boring…)
Here are the rules. It’s based on War and involves two players:
Click here for a copy of the slide I used in the classroom. It’s the same as above, but with some pictures. It’s kind of ugly…