Algebra Relay Races: TES Maths Resource of the Week

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What is it?
I love a relay race. Okay, it can become a little bit on the hectic side, but in my experience this is more than made up for by the fact that students seem to get through considerably more work than they would in a normal lesson. There is something about the increased levels of engagement and focus that such competition brings. And this relay activity is particularly impressive given that it covers most of the key algebra skills that students will need for their GCSEs. Throughout the 10 rounds we cover expanding brackets, factorising, substitution, solving linear equations and identifying expressions, equations and formula. The choice and progression through the questions is outstanding. Best of all the answers are also provided, saving us busy teachers a good amount of precious minutes.

How can it be used?
This activity is perfect for GCSE revision, but also more than suitable for younger year groups. The rounds increase in difficulty, so there is no problem chopping off a few of the later rounds if they prove too challenging. The author provides some really nice suggestions and variations for running this activity, and I can do little better than to share their thoughts:

Depending on ability I give different guidance. For top groups I say how many are incorrect but do not identify which ones and for lower ability I point out the questions they need to work on.

Makes for a very fun and competitive lesson. Feel free to make up your own rules to direct the game. I use time outs for cheating (or running!) and give a merit to the pair who has completed the most rounds. For some groups I create an accuracy prize as well so it’s not all about speed.

Thanks so much for sharing
Craig Barton

Download: Algebra Relay Races
View the author’s other resources

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