Monday, July 15, 2013

The Bucket Game

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 I can't remember how the formation of this game came to be, but the kids LOVED it. I played it as a review game in both 6th and 7th grade this year. Here is what the set up looked like:

These buckets were found at Michael's for $0.50 and I used my cricut and vinyl to make the numbers!

Yes, that is my living room...this was after I made the buckets and in true fashion, I never took a picture of my kiddos playing -- we were having too much fun! You can use this to review ANY, not just in math, I mean ANY topic!

So, here is how it works:
1. Make about 30 review questions. You can make more, but I would say 25-30 is the minimum.
2. They should be in varying difficulty. I make 6 levels, 1 being the easiest and 6 being the most difficult.
3. Print your questions on card stock or something sturdy. You can laminate if you choose to! I printed directly on index cards and it worked great. 
4. Split up the cards into the different levels and put them in the buckets. 
5. Split the kids into teams. I had classes of 25 or so and did 5 teams. Do what works for you!
6. Group 1 goes first and send a kid up. They use a bean bag or a koosh ball and toss it into a basket from a predetermined point about 6-8 feet back. Whichever bucket the ball is in, that is the one they choose a question from. That is also the number of points that the question is worth. (As I am writing this post, I am realizing that this is much like Skee-ball, and you could set the buckets up like that for added difficulty!)
7. Anyhow, the student hands you the question and you either read it outloud or put it on the document camera for everyone to see. They solve as quickly as they can...if you use this in math, work must be shown to support reasoning!
8. You can then do this several different ways. You can let the group whose turn it was answer first, and if they don't know the answer you can go to group 2 and so on. You can then play jeopardy style and then let the winner of that round go next or go to the next team. YOUR CHOICE!

My kids were SO engaged the whole 50 minutes that they BEGGED me to let them finish the round when the bell rang. Seriously, y'all, kids are usually knocking down the door to get out of class (well, not mine!)...not this year!

I hope my directions were clear...but really, you can totally make this your own!

If you are looking for questions that you can use easily with this game, take a look at any of my task card sets in my TPT store!

I love games, don't you? If you have a fun game you play that is easily adaptable to any classroom, let me know about it in the comments!


  1. Great idea! If their toss misses all the cups, do they keep tossing until they get it in a cup?

  2. I was wondering the same thing as Becky.

  3. Yes! Though that usually isn't an issue.

  4. Could they pick a question from a pile (easy, medium, or hard) and if they answer it correctly they can toss the bean bag into a bucket and whichever one it goes into they get that amount of points? I was thinking of maybe doing it that way. Any thoughts since you have played the game already? I don't have a document camera :( so I'll have to have my questions on PowerPoint.

  5. How do you get the buckets to stay up when they are throwing the beanbags or koosh balls inside them?

    1. I haven't had an issue with them tipping over, but I guess you could put a bean bag or something heavy at the bottom to prevent that.