Sunday, July 26, 2015

My Grudge with "Grudge"

I'm flying home from Twitter Math Camp near Los Angeles, and after successfully figuring out how to steal the airplane's wifi, I decided to write another post. This is what I do. I go to a conference, get inspired to contribute to the MTBoS community, and write a blog post. You must understand that once I get home, all motivation to do such a thing will be lost. That's what Netflix would like me to believe anyway.

There is one contribution I've made to the online community that has received a lot of good feedback from students and other teachers. This is a game called Grudge. I gave a survey to my students at the end of this year and asked them what were their favorite things were from my class. Grudge was near the top of the list. ("Mr. Kraft" was at the very top of the list, of course.) 

There is no question in my mind that it is a review game that engages almost all of my students almost all of the time. I also feel that I present it in such a way that students seriously consider their answers and are eager to understand their mistakes. But there is a problem with the game. On occasion, students will team up on other students, and while it is not always expressed, I do believe that feelings can be hurt. As Matt Vaudrey once expressed in a tweet, it hurts the class culture. It promotes competition instead of collaboration.

I've learned that any activity I use in my class should not only be engaging and promote academic growth, but should also encourage students to be respectful to one another.


  1. I'd like to learn more about this Grudge game, Mr. Kraft. Can I find it on here on your blog?

    1. Here is the original blog post...

  2. So, let's make it a constructive game. Start with nothing and each time you get one right, you get to give someone a heart. Group them into teams. At the end of the game, the team that has the least standard deviation wins? I don't know. I think there would have to be a little more to it than that, but...

  3. In light of this Grudge that you have with the game do you still play it or have you modified it any as a result?