But can I tell you how excited I am? I already have my Google Challenge Classroom set up for next year. The Challenge Problem of the Week is already scheduled for August through May. So I can't forget! I can still change it or add to it...but just knowing that it is already done is so great! In addition, I have some "Any Time, Any Topic" challenges that will always be available to kids. My final category of challenges that is already set up in my Challenge Classroom is one that I call -"Wonder Math". Basically, I search up pictures that are interesting and likely to make kids wonder about stuff that may be math-related (for example, a pool filled with jello; a world-record sized pie; a life-size gingerbread house) and just ask the questions "What does this make you wonder about? How could math help you answer your questions?" There are a few reasons that I love using Google Classroom to manage my challenge work for my classroom.
1. I love being able to schedule everything out. I want to have a problem of the week, but honestly as the year gets going this is sometimes one of the things that gets forgotten about. Now I was able to devote a block of time to get it done (and it took me under an hour since I had all the challenges ready to go)!
2. I love the flexibility of being able to share all kinds of stuff that gets me excited about math. I'm always finding some news article, website, video or something else that reminds me of something we're doing at school. Through Google Classroom, it's so easy to share all of these kinds of things.
3. I like being able to use topics to organize the different types of challenges. This way I can have problem of the weeks, plus other types of challenges all housed in one place.
4. I can have one place to house all of my challenges for every class. All I have to do is post the code to join and every kid that wants access can have it. It even allows kids that I have in math club, but that I may not have in class, to join in the challenges.
5. At the end of the year, I will have everything in one place. It will be so easy to reuse the posts that I really like and update with new ones.
6. It gives me a way to provide lots of options, which give kids so many different choices. Hopefully they will be excited about at least some of the possibilities. (And it is one more answer to the eternal "Jill is bored in your class" line that we all may have heard).
Here is a video where I walk you through how I set up my challenge classroom. If you're interested in the resource that I used for all of my weekly challenges, I used these Year of Weekly Challenges.
7th Grade Challenging Math
Math Counts (some stuff is paid, but they have lots of free stuff as well)