Guest Blog Post - Whole School Math Duel World Cup

At Brockwell Junior School (@brockwelljunior) we are lucky enough to have 16 iPad available for classes. The problem we have been facing is trying to stop them from being a 'simple' internet browser or only using them as an extension activity. What we needed was an app and an idea (iDea what a great name for an app) that could be used across the entire school and could be incorporated into lessons. The main purpose of this was to highlight to staff the potential of the impact the iPads could have.

Enter @ICT_MrP and MathDuel (@ElliesGames). Lee wrote an incredibly useful 15lessons eBook for the World Cup. One of the lessons was about setting up a MathDuel World Cup in your maths lesson. This was a fantastic idea but we felt it could go even further. So we decided to run a whole school World Cup competition.

Each class had to complete a league of 8 matches (each match is 2 minutes long, a goal is scored when the progress bar reaches one players side and stars cascade). After a few practises a number of rules were established.
For example,
1 No touching your opponents board - yellow card
2 No setting your levels too easy - match fixing
3 You cannot play the same “team” (classmate) more than once.

Click here for a copy of the league score sheet.

The results were entered into a quick spreadsheet, which quickly identified the top two players from each class / league. This was done by awarding the usual 3 points for a win 1 for a draw and 0 for a defeat. In the event of players being level on points it would then be decided on goals scored. The top two players from each “league” (class) were then put through to the knock out stages of the tournament. 

The top 16, semi-final and quarter-final matches were played in a very similar format but these were best to 3. If there was no clear winner after 3 matches then it went to a golden goal (next goal wins the match.)

During the tournament Erik Bye from @ElliesGames contacted me asking if he could sponsor us and we jumped at the chance! In addition to this school purchased four trophies of various sizes for the four finalists.

As the excitement grew around school for the tournament we decided to televise it, as all World Cup finals are broadcast. To do this we used a USB and @ReachWildlife's live streaming service. We let the finalists battle it out in the library away from distractions and had the entire school watching LIVE on the big screen in the hall. This helped create a real World Cup atmosphere. 

After the third and fourth place matches were played our players entered the hall to rapturous applause. However this was nothing compared to the thunderous support from the spectators during the final match. The finalists could hear the cheers echoing down the corridors, providing a real “match day” environment. I have never heard such vocal support, and enjoyment, for the four number operations. When Aaron claimed the title of #MathDuelWorldChampion the cheering could be heard in an adjacent building.

#MathDuelWorldChampion - Aaron
#MathDuelWorldSecond - Amelia
#MathDuelWorldThird - Ben
#MathDuelWorldForth - Lewis

8 classes of 30 children played 8 games = 1024 games
Top 16 8 x 3 games = 24
Semi-finals 4 x 3 = 12
Quarter-finals 2 x 3 = 6
Finals 2 x 3 = 6

In total, across the whole school, approximately 1072 competitive MathDuel games were played (not including practises or friendlies). If the average game consisted of 20 questions (well below the real number I suspect) then over the duration of the tournament 21440 questions were answered.

With very little effort we managed to raise awareness of such a powerfully simple app and hopefully it will be 'played' in class long after Brazil 2014 has finished. This is a fantastic way to engage children and staff and showcase the power of the iPad. It also shows that sometimes the simple apps can often be the best. A simple app with a slight creative twist can become an incredibly exciting and rewarding learning experience. 

Ability for student to set questions to their own level
Student centred learning
Students from different year groups can compete simultaneously on the same iPad
Whole school engagement
All students can succeed
Competitive Numeracy lessons ensuring all boys focused
Maths, maths and more maths

Very few!
The noise level during the final matches may result in future tinnitus
Students cheering for one classmate (in the finals) may hurt opponents feelings
If you would like any help or advice in managing your own #MathDuelWorldCup please don't hesitate to get in touch. We would be more than happy to share any of our resources such as spreadsheet leader boards, game score cards and world cup wall charts. We hope you enjoy this as much as we did. 


- Thank you so much to Mr Will Baker for this. A fantastic example of how a simple idea can be adapted to engage, inspire and improve children's learning. In the ebook, the lesson talks about using the app in a class, which I have done plenty of times to great effect. To see a whole school take part is wonderful and the enthusiasm, support and enjoyment from all the children is a wonderful thing to see!

Thank you again!


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