Kung Fu Math

My grade 6 teacher, Mr. Piot, did the awesome math game with us called Kung Fu Math.

I don’t remember the exact details, but we had to compete against each other to work our way up from yellow to black belt math masters.

The yellow belt questions were the easiest (example: 5 * 2 + 1), and the black belt questions were the most challenging (eg. 12 * 10 / 5 – 6 * 9). We would NOT have to use the rules of BEDMAS, but do the order of operations in the order given.

We would go head to head with another classmate. The teacher would read the question, and the first one to say the correct answer won. The winner would get points to go up to the next belt. I can’t remember exactly how this part worked, but I think you could go up levels two ways:

  1. By winning a certain number of challenges against students at your same level (and this would increase as you worked your way up the colours: say 3 for yellow, 4 for orange, 10 for black).
  2. By winning against someone with a higher belt that you.

I really like the idea of this game, but don’t think the direct competition between students would fly these days (or am I wrong?). I may think on how to modernize it…teams perhaps? Or anonymously online?

Have you heard of similar games, or have ideas how to update it for the 21st century classroom?

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