The Master’s Degree Research Project (The Game Rules)

The game structure for my research project was, of course, a great deal to manage. But, if you read any of my earlier posts, you know I’m a more-is-better kinda gal. This was the first time I had done anything with this much structure and I learned what worked and what I could let go. With the emergence of a good Learning Management Systems (I use Canvas), I was able to streamline a lot of the work. But, here were the game rules for the 2011-2012 school year sans a LMS.

Shooting for the STAARs

The object of the game is to do your homework and do well on quizzes and tests. This is, of course, what you should strive to do anyway. You will earn points (not bonus points) for every grade you receive. Playing the game does not require you to do anything beyond what I assign. When your team earns 5000 TEAM POINTS, you will receive 5 bonus points to add to a unit test. Additional ways to earn points include completing Team Badges, completing warm-ups, and working on Khan Academy.

To Begin:

Your team will create a small poster including the following: team name based on something mathematical, a Team Badge template, drawings of each team member, and, a point total display using a sheet protector (provided by me). Figure 1.1 is an example of how your team poster should look.



  • When you receive grades for your assignments, quizzes, and tests (test points are doubled), the grades for each team member will be added together for a team total and an individual total. The team totals will be posted on your posters and the top five individual totals will be listed on the board. See Individual Point Levels page for how many points it takes to level up.
  • Points may also be earned during review games and cooperative learning activities
  • First place team = 25 pts
  • Second place team = 20 points
  • Third place team = 15 points
  • Fourth place team = 10 points
  • Fifth place team = 5 points

BADGES (Optional)

To earn a possible 250 Team Points, each member of your team must complete the appropriate Badge Assignment. Your team average will be the percentage of the 250 Team Points you receive. Assignments are done in the following order:

  • Linear Functions
  • Absolute Value Functions
  • Quadratic Functions
  • Exponential/Logarithmic Functions
  • Rational Functions
  • Radical Functions
  • Conic Sections

In addition to earning a badge and a possible 250 Team Points, your team is awarded a piece of a Tangram puzzle.  Once your team has all seven puzzle pieces, you may attempt to solve a Tangram puzzle. A correct solution earns your team 500 Team Points. See Figure 1.3 for a sample Tangram Puzzle and its solution.


You may earn a possible 25 points by completing Spiral Reviews found in your textbook. The percentage you earn will be the percentage of the 25 points you will add to your team and individual total. These are short review sections found at the end of each homework assignment. You must start with Section [1-1] and work in order to receive credit. In addition to the points, you earn a sticker next to your picture on your team poster and a ticket to put in the jar for a drawing to spin the wheel.

KHAN ACADEMY (Optional) 

Log on to and earn the following badges. Badges will give you points to level up.


You receive tickets for accomplishing the following:

  • Making an “A” on a test.
  • Completing spiral reviews.
  • Earning Sun Badges and Challenge Patchesff

I will draw tickets from the jar at the end of the nine weeks for spins on the wheel.





Cut out each piece and return to me to put in your team file. Tangram pieces are earned by completing the Badge Packets.



Those were the game rules for my first ever truly gamified class. It was a LOT to keep up with, but I only had 60 total kids. I was also the only one teaching those courses so I didn’t have to worry about trying to convince other teachers to keep up with this.