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I've been teaching high school math for over 20 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).
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5 Engaging Math Review Games that Don't Require the Internet



There are lots of websites that make it easy for teachers to create review activities for their high school math classes (quizlet, kahoot, etc).  But sometimes the internet goes out, or several of your students forgot their devices, or the batteries on their devices died, or the device won't connect to the internet, or sometimes you just want to put the devices away.

In this post, I have compiled five review games that you can play in your secondary math class.  All five games are internet-free and device-free. The teacher will need a computer and a projector for most of the games, but the students do not need a device.

I have included an Honorable Mention for Gimkit.com because I am a fan of its platform. Scroll down to keep reading.
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1) Sticky Points




Sticky Points is first on my list because it is the easiest game to prep.  

Materials needed:

✓ a set of questions, one copy for each student or group
✓ the answer key
✓ a stack of sticky notes

Even though you don't need the internet or devices to play this game, you will need the internet if you have virtual students. Read about the virtual option at the bottom of this post. 

How the game is played:

  • Each group has a set of questions and works at their own pace.
  • I stood at the board and held the answer key. As each group finished a question, one person came to show me his or her answer.
  • If they got the question right, they could choose a sticky note from the board. They are awarded the number of points that are written on the back. I keep track of the points on the board.
  • If the group got the question wrong, I let them go back to their table and try again.
  • The game ends when you run out of time, you run out of sticky notes, you run out of questions, or the students run out of steam.
Read more in my blog post: Low Prep Math Review Game "Sticky Points".


You may be interested in some prepared Sticky Points games I have:

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2) Raffle Ticket



I mention this game second because it is the second easiest game to prep. 

Materials needed:

✓a set of questions,
✓ the answer key,
✓ a sheet of paper (or a PowerPoint or Google docs slide) with the numbers 1 to 120 (optional),
✓ a stack of sticky notes, and
✓ a random number generator.

Even though you don't need the internet or devices to play this game, you will need the internet if you have virtual students. Read about the virtual option here.

How the game is played:

  • Put the students in groups of 2 or 3. Give the students the set of problems.
  • The students work on the problems in any order and at their own pace.
  • When students finish a problem, one person from the group goes to you to have it checked. 
  • If they have the right answer, initial their paper and the student chooses a number from 1 to 100 (this is their Raffle Ticket number). They put their name or initials on a sticky note, then put the sticky note on the number to identify that number as theirs. 
  • If they have the wrong answer, let them go back to their desk and try again. 
  • The process repeats until either you run out of time or you run out of questions. Students will have a handful of Raffle Ticket Numbers by the time the activity ends.
  • The game ends when you run out of time, you run out of questions, or the students run out of steam. 
  • Finally, the teacher randomly selects 2 or 3 numbers using a random number generator. Those groups whose numbers were selected, get a prize!

Read more in my blog post: Math Review Game Raffle Ticket


You may be interested in some prepared Raffle Ticket games I have:

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3) Trashketball




Trashketball has been a popular game for a long time. For years it was my go-to review game. I still play it on occasion, but it does require more prep work than Sticky Points or Raffle Ticket.

Materials needed:

✓ a set of questions typed in a PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation
✓ the printed answer key

How the game is played

  • Use a trashcan or an empty box as the “goal”. Use a Nerf ball or a wad of paper as the “ball.”
  • Put 2 lines of painter’s tape on the floor marking the “1-point line” and the “2-point line.”
  • Put the students in groups of 2 or 3.
  • A group chooses a problem from the prepared PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation.
  • Each group works on the problem at their own pace. There is no reward for the fastest team.
  • One member of each group shows the teacher the answer. If they have the correct answer, the group gets 1 point and gets the opportunity to “shoot” from either the 1-point line or the 2-point line.  So a group can earn up to 3 points on one question. If they have the wrong answer, they earn zero points and must wait for the next question. 
  • The teacher keeps track of the points for each team on the board.
  • The game ends when you run out of time, you run out of questions, or the students run out of steam. You can award a prize to the winning team if desired.

Read more in my blog post, Math Review Game "Trashketball", and you can get a FREE copy of my Functions Trashketball game (domain, range, vertical line test, etc.).



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4) Scavenger Hunt



A Scavenger Hunt is not really a game because the way I do it, there's no winner. You could make the group who finished the fastest the winner, but I don't like to reward speed. Or you could add QR codes to all of the stations and one of those QR codes takes them to the text, "You win the secret prize!", but that would mean the students would need their devices. You could make everyone who finishes the activity a winner! Whether you have a winner or not, it's still a good activity.

Creating a scavenger hunt doesn't require as much prep work as Trashketball, but you still have to take the time to put each question on a separate piece of paper and also the answer to a different question at the top of each page.

Materials needed:

✓ a set of questions, one question per sheet of paper in a large font 
✓ the answer key

How the activity is played

  • There are "stations" posted around the room (and even in the hallway!). A station is a sheet of paper with the station number, the answer to another question at the top of the page, and a new question at the bottom of the page.
  • The students start at a station of their choosing. They solve the problem at that station, then find the answer at the top of another station, then solve that problem.
  • The students continue solving the problems until they return to the question where they started.

Read more in my blog post:  Math Review Game "Scavenger Hunt".


You may be interested in some prepared Scavenger Hunt activities I have: 
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I'm listing this one last because I just learned about this game and I haven't had the chance to play it with my students yet.

Materials needed:

✔A set of questions in a PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation.
✔The printed answers.
✔Dice. A standard set of 6-sided dice is fine, but it would be useful to also have an 8-sided or even 12-sided die. 

How the game is played

  • Divide the class into two teams: Team A and Team B.
  • A question is displayed. Students cannot confer once the question is shown.  Give the students time to determine the answer.
  • The teacher chooses one of the teams to answer the question (let's say it was Team A).
  • Any student on Team A that thinks they know the answer (or wants to bluff that they do) must stand up. Everyone else remains seated. If 5 students stand up, that team is eligible for 5 points. (At this point, the teacher numbers the players - the player number will change every round).
  • The teacher rolls a die. If 5 people standing and the die shows a 4, then player number 4 must answer the question.
  • If that player gets the question right, that team earns the points. 
  • If player 4 gets the question wrong, the question is thrown to the other team and they are eligible for the points. Any single person on Team B can answer the question, but the first person to answer from Team B must be correct. If Team B gets the question wrong, then neither team earns any points.
  • Repeat the process with a new question and offer the question to Team B first.  
  • Play continues until you run out of time, you run out of questions, or the students run out of steam.

Read more in my blog post:  Math Review Game "Bluff"

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Honorable Mention: Gimkit



As you can tell from the name, this is NOT an internet-free game. But I like it so much that I decided to make Gimkit.com an honorable mention. Before I go further, I want to say that the free version of Gimkit is very limiting and it requires all students have a device and an internet connection. (I hope that the creator will someday realize he will gain a larger audience if he offers more capabilities for free).

My blog post about Gimkit was written in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic shutdown in April 2020. And I found Gimkit to be the perfect game to play when we were virtual. I liked it better than Kahoot and Quizlet Live.

A year later, in April 2021, I started playing it again with my students who were mostly in-person (with only one or two virtual students) and I loved it even more! We played a mode called Trust No One and the students had a blast. 

During the first semester of the 2021-2022 school year, my students could not get enough of the Gimkit and the Trust No One mode. They request to play it about once a week!


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What review games do you like to play with your students? Join me in my Facebook group and let me know!