Thursday, March 10, 2016


I have been at my current school for almost three years now, and one activity that has been a tried and true activity is Trashketball. I first learned about this activity when I taught in Mississippi in my first year. One of my former colleagues played this with her students, and I was very hooked! I talked to her, and I tried it a time or two in my classroom down there. It wasn't the best success for me, but I don't remember it being too horrible.

Then I came to my current school in 2013. When I found that I might have probable success with it here, I decided to give it a try. Needless to say, Trashketball has become a staple in my classroom. I have students begging me to play it several times a semester, since we are on block scheduling here.

Since we have had midterms for this week, I decided to let the kids play trashketball, and we had a lot of fun! Yes, we! It takes a lot of mental stamina to do this game, but it's generally worth it.

Here are the rules for Trashketball (as they work best for my students and me). By the way, these are in no particular order. Also, I am attaching a video, which you can find here.  
  1. Students are grouped (that is of your choosing). 
  2. Students must take turns shooting. 
  3. Let students come up with a school appropriate team name (instead of 1,2,3,4...etc). It makes the game more fun. However, give yourself veto power if the name is inappropriate. 
  4. Give the students a question. If the team gets the question correct, then they get 1 point and the chance to shoot. You can do points however you like. I do 1,2,3 for simplicity. 
  5. Trashketballs must be no more and no less than two sheets of paper. 
  6. If students block another team's shot, then that team loses 5 points. 
  7. If a students is on a cell phone, then the whole team loses 20 points. 
  8. If students refuse to cooperate, then I have an alternate assignment, which usually consists of 100+ book problems. I have never had to exercise this option, though!! :) 
  9. At the end, I usually do something like double points or triple points or something of the sort. 
  10. The winner at the end receives a small prize (once again, your choice). 
  11. Have fun!! 
As I said, the kids generally beg me to play this game several times a semester. Let me share a few pics from the past couple of days of review. 

I came up with this name 

Wampus Cats is a popular name here. 

Yes, that says #FreeKe$ha

As I said, a popular name 

Here is an example of a question that I put up for kids to solve. 

At the end, tally up all of the points. 

A student in my honors class drew this, and, yes, sometimes kids call me this, both J-Money Swagcraft and Savage. Savage is a compliment, meaning that you roast kids without any apologies. 

Here are the teams and scores from my honors class. 

Here is the box that the kids shoot into. If it bounces out, it doesn't count. 

I came up with #Schoolcraft (also a real thing) to a team who couldn't come up with a name. 

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