I was looking for some ideas over the weekend and ran across this blog post by Sarah Hagan (Math=Love). The post includes alot of great ideas but the one that I borrowed came from yet another blog post by Nathan Kraft. I have really gotten so many great ideas from the teachers I follow on Twitter and through my Feedly blog reader! I am so thankful for teachers who are so willing to share their resources and ideas with others.
So, today was the first day back after Spring Break and I wanted to review problems using exponent rules. I borrowed some individual white boards from Ms. Whitt and gave one to each student. I had my students go write their names on my board and put 4 x's under each name. The last student with an x under his/her name wins. I gave the class a problem to work and had them put their markers down after a certain period of time. Any student who gets an answer correct gets to go erase an 'x' from any person's name. The "zombie" part comes when students have all 4 of their x's erased. Even though they can no longer win the game, they can still erase x's from others. I will give the winners 5 bonus points on the next quiz grade. Ms. Whitt and I did go over how to work each problem afterwards.
I altered what my students will be doing for the Alice portfolio. Due to time constraints we chose to skip some of the activities that were mentioned in the portfolio list in the book. I created my own Alice Portfolio assignment. I borrowed some items from the Meaningful Math version of the portfolio. I do not necessarily think that mine is better; it just was a better fit for me this year since we had to cut some of the activities.