Monthly Archives: April 2012


The Description

Bracketology is a review game based on the NCAA basketball tournanment.  Basically you pick problems, setup the bracket, and the goal of the game is to figure out which is the most difficult problem.   You setup the intial matches, and then students use whiteboards to vote for the most difficult problem.  Then they work the losing problem on a piece of paper.  Here’s how it works:

– Intially pick 4 problems from the first part of a chapter, and then 4 problems from the second part of a chapter.  Then rank them from #1-4 based on how difficult you think the problems are.  The #1 seed should be the problem you consider most difficult of the group, the 4th seed should be the easiest.

– Draw the bracket on the whiteboard, the highest seed should play the lowest seed, so put #1 vs #4 and #2 vs #3.

– Have students in groups of two.  Each group gets one whiteboard, and each student needs their own piece of paper.

– Pick a match and have each group use their whiteboard to vote for the problem they think is the most difficult.

– The winning problem is the one that is voted the most difficult.  Take that problem and draw it into the next round.  All the students should work on the losing problem.

– When you finally get to a champion problem, offer extra credit to any student who can take down the champion.

The Advice

– I would write on the whiteboard the two basic steps that the students are doing:
1. Vote for most difficult problem.
2. Work on the losing problem.

– That above advice is key because students will get confused intially about which problem they should be working on.

– I have two whiteboards in my room.  I use on of them for the bracket, and then I work the problems on the other.

The Goods

I do not use any handouts with this game.  Students take out their own piece of paper and I write the problems all on the whiteboard.