Friday, December 7, 2012


Today I asked the kids what they wanted to do for Fun Friday.

(If they work hard during regular homeschool during the week, we have a fun, though still educational, activity.)

They surprised me by asking for a game of jeopardy.

Now, the problem there is that Mom spends three hours writing the questions, and the kids spend twenty minutes answering them. I am rapidly converting to the idea that the kids should do all the work. Next week: huge honkin' writing assignments while Mom plays with legos and calls "Aren't you done yet?" at fifteen minute intervals.

[Editorial aside: Actually, I do believe that the kids should do most of the work; I've been reading research which indicates that kids acquire language best in context, meaning that if they practice writing a lot (with appropriate feedback and mandatory revisions), they will internalize spelling, grammar, and punctuation. What they use most, they will automatically retain, and they will become proficient at independent writing. Twenty years from now, when one of them is brought low by personal scandal due to insecure emails, I want all the investigators to comment, "Well, he clearly committed securities fraud, but his prose was just so well-written, it was a joy to trawl through twenty thousand pages of documentation..."]

Halfway through Double Jeopardy, Daniel got very frustrated. It's really hard to tweak a lesson when the questions have been pre-printed.

Still, we had fun.

Here are pictures of the two boards:
[No, you don't have to try to read the text from the pictures. I have considerately attached a transcription below.]

I flipped Eric and Daniel math cards over simultaneously and they raced to answer their differentiated questions.

There were a few marvelous moments. One was when Daniel rang in speedily with the answer "What is Waterloo?"

Another involved editing this statement:

Their are three errers in this sentance

Eric corrected the spelling and punctuation problems, and also crossed out the word "three" and replaced it with "five." He caught my meta sneakiness!

The final one occurred when I offered to let people have sixty seconds to research history answers during the double jeopardy round. "I'll go grab The Story of the World," I said, and headed for the office--only to be intercepted by Sam who had anticipated me and grabbed the correct book already. What a smart boy!

Jeff managed not to trash the board completely, though if he'd gotten up from his nap earlier, he might not have met that goal.

Final score: Eric, 2100; Daniel, 1800.


This British penal colony, founded in 1788, shares a name with one of Alcatraz Smedry’s cousins.

Catherine the Great was empress of this country.

This ambitious Corsican seized power in France and then conquered much of Europe. Although his sea battles never went well, he was impressive on land until 1812.

This day, on July 14th 1789, marks the beginning of the French Revolution.

If Ambassador George Macartney had been willing to kowtow in 1793, Great Britain might have gotten a trade agreement with this empire.

Double Jeopardy:

In 1769, James Watt refined a version of this machine which powered the Industrial Revolution.

This revolutionary visionary assisted in the liberation of the modern countries of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru (together with Don José de San Martín), and Bolivia, but he never accomplished his dream of a single, unified country composed of former Spanish colonies.

This location has become a metaphor for suffering a defeat.

Toussaint L’Ouverture is a hero in the story of this nation’s independence.

Our stuffed skunk, Tecumseh, belongs to this Native American tribe.

Daniel Math:






Double Jeopardy:


 Bear needs to triple a recipe calling for ¾ cup of flour. How much flour should he use?

457 ÷ 2

Round 1,382.2392 to the hundredths place.

Eric Math:

2  2/3  times ¾ = ?     

What is the range of set {88, 31, 77, 10, 66, 18, 55, 2, 44}?

How many times does 2/35 go into 1/5? Express as a common fraction.

What is the least integer n that can satisfy 2^n > 3^5?
What is the sum of the 1st 15 perfect squares?

Double Jeopardy:

How many different arrangements can be made of the letters G R O A N if O and A must be adjacent?

What is the measure of the minor arc formed by the hour and minute hands in an analog clock at 8:24 a.m.?

How many ways can 5 distinct balls be placed in 2 distinct containers?

Express 41 in base 6.

Concentric circles A & B have radii 5 and 3, respectively. A chord of circle A is tangent to circle B. What is the length of the chord?

English: Edit the following sentences into correctness:

Me and Bear went to the Zoo.

i had fun we ate icecream

He didnt lik cing aminals in cajus. So He organized a revoltution.

Sum peepul wer scared. But Bear protects me.

 They’re were lions leopard and loons allover the place.

Double Jeopardy:

I luv it when parents grandparens and siblings gimme chrismas presents.

Their are three errers in this sentance

Pride & Prejudice & zombies is a funny book.

How am I doing? I am doing good; my health is well.

i hate it when the computer thinks its smarter than i am autospellcheck stinks i’m making mistakes on purpus stupid machine


Brian Thomas said...

What was final jeopardy? :)

Gail said...

Brian--no final jeopardy, sorry. I thought about it but concluded I just didn't have time to make it work. Feel free to make suggestions for next time though!

Jon said...

Maybe next time you could have them write questions for each other?

Carolyn said...

I'm happy to see the Alcatraz books are finding their way into lessons!