Scroll down to read my latest blog post.
    Check out some of my awesome Freebies! Click on Learn more.
    Learn more
  • SHOP
    Head to my TeachersPayTeachers store for some engaging math resources that can be used in your class today! Click on Learn more.
    Learn more
Hey there!
I've been teaching high school math for over 25 years. I write about my experiences here and also share activities that I have done with my classes that have been successful (and some that have been not so successful).

Gimkit: A Math Review Game

Updated on April 30, 2021. Scroll to the bottom to read how it went today!

Today (April 20, 2020) I played a game on gimkit.com. It was a success. Well, a success with a few hiccups.

I had never used gimkit.com before. A colleague told me about it (she teaches Latin) and she said her students were really into it. I've been struggling to keep the students engaged during our Google Meet sessions during this quarantine so I thought I would give it a try.

Some Hiccups

We did a gimkit on hyperbolas. I had the students create an account and join my gimkit class - that's where some of the hiccups occurred. Without us being in the same room it was difficult to troubleshoot why they couldn't get into the class or why, once they were in the class, they couldn't join the game. (In the end, I had those two students join a separate gimkit without signing in.)

You can avoid some of the issues I had by not requiring the students to create an account. You can play where the students just enter a code and type their own name (let's hope they type their own name and not someone else's!)

How We Played

For the game goal, I chose "All In". This means the entire class works toward one goal.

You also have the option of having the goal be "Time" which means the players try to earn as much money as they can before time runs out. The third option is to play a "Race" where the students compete to be the first one to reach the cash goal.

Let's continue the conversation. Join me in my Facebook group.

It is not Kahoot 

So far, this might sound a bit like Kahoot.  What's different about Gimkit is that with the fake money they earn, they can shop. They can buy boosters such as the power to earn more dollars for a correct question. For example, for most questions, you earn $3 for a correct question. You can pay for a booster and earn $5 for a correct question - of course, this means you will lose $5 for a wrong question!

The students playing Gimkit during our Google Meet session.

One of the main reasons I prefer Gimkit to Kahoot is that students can work at their own pace and there is no pressure to be the fastest student. Read more about how I do not like to reward speed in this post.

Set the "All In" goal:

I made the goal $220 for a class of 12 students. My Latin teacher colleague said she had to set her goal at $1.3 million to make the game last long enough. But these hyperbola questions take a minute or two to solve, and I only wanted the activity to take about 10 minutes, so I set the monetary goal low.  In the end, it lasted for 13 minutes.

The other reason for playing the game with the "All In" goal is that it unites the students to all work toward one goal: to make $220 as quickly as possible. In the end, the faster students did pull up the slower students. After the game ended, a student who only solved 3 questions said, "y'all carried me."

Even though my intention was for the whole class to work toward one goal, the top 3 students were identified as Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners. There was a very nice report at the end, too, where I can see how many questions each student got right and how many they got wrong.

I will be playing this game again tomorrow with my calculus classes!

UPDATE April 2021

Yesterday and today I played Gimkit with both my on-level Calculus class and my Honors Precalculus class. At this point, I only have 1 student in one class who is virtual. Everyone else was in the room while we played.

I really didn't think my Calculus class would be into the game because they have been suffering from senior-itis pretty badly and have been complaining about everything lately.  But they were engaged for most of the period!

I gave the students markers so they could write on the dry erase desks.

Students playing Gimkit. April 2021.

Gimkit has made significant changes since I first played it.  There are a lot more play options now.  We tried playing Humans vs. Zombies. It wasn't very exciting. 

We played in a team mode. That was fun. I had turned off the "Clean Power Ups Only" feature. One member of one team kept using the team's money to either "ice" another team or blur their screen. It was amusing to hear their reactions: 
"What is happening?!" 
"Who is doing that?"
"Why don't we have any money?"

The mode you MUST play

But the most fun was had in my Precalculus class. We played the mode "Trust No One." It was awesome!

It's based on the game Among Us - which I have never played.

How it works: All students are individuals on a "ship." Two of the students are "imposters," and the others are regular players. The imposters know they are imposters. The goal is to determine who the imposters are and vote them off the ship.

If a player got enough money (by answering questions correctly), they could use the money to investigate other players or buy disguises.

During play, one of the imposters, a seemingly quiet and trustworthy 11th-grade girl, kept suggesting that other students get investigated. One of the more outspoken students who was having an easier time getting dollars trusted the imposter and kept running investigations on other players.  The outspoken student initiated the votes and convinced everyone else to vote for non-imposters.  After two innocent people got voted off, the game ended, and the imposters won. 

When the two imposters were revealed, I was shocked!  The quiet girl had even been suggesting that the imposters were buying disguises - which was exactly what she was doing!

That moment when a big secret was revealed was very dramatic, and everyone had a big reaction. :-)

Have you tried Gimkit?

What has been successful in your classes while distance learning? Let's continue the conversation by joining my Facebook group.