Trasketball & How to get students to stop flying paper balls

How to Play Trasketball

I did not make this up! In fact, I am super late to the game. Trasketball has been around for centuries, maybe. Mrs. E teaches plays it like this.  Another person plays it like this. If you google “trasketball” you’ll be sure to find a ton of other ways to review also! This is How I play it:

  1. Split my class into groups of 4
  2. They must decide on a “batting line up” (clearly I have my sports mixed up)
  3. Player one from each team comes up and sits in one of the hot seats
  4. Each seat had a whiteboard and a marker
  5. Project a problem (question, vocab definition, etc) up on the board
  6. Students complete the problem (I try not to time them but that is up to your discretion), have them hide their boards when they finish
  7. Call time
  8. Every team with a correct answer gets 1 point and 3 papers balls to shoot
  9. Let each player with a correct answer shoot their balls and gain an additional point for each basket made (make sure they all shoot from the same spot, I mark it with a post-it note)
  10. Call up player 2 from each team and start again

They love this! I usually get through two full rounds and then do a bonus question where they can pick their player and the shooter. In terms of capitalizing on whole group growth and knowledge, this isn’t the best method but if you feel that for a specific topic the class, in general, is up to speed then it’s a great method. I do take away a point if there is talking during the time when their classmate’s are doing the problem or if I see a cell phone but that’s because I am a big fat meanie.

Watch a quick clip of my students! Safe to say I have no future NBA All-Stars.

How to get students to stop shooting paper balls into the waste bin

Take away the opportunity to commit the crime.

Problem: Teenage boys all think they’re ballers. Give them a paper ball and a wastebasket and they think they’re King James himself. Not only are they not arguably the best basketball player of all time, but they always think that on the next shot they will be. They shoot, they miss. They pick it up. They miss. They are confident that the fourth or fifth time will be the charm, it’s not! They only make it once they position themselves so close to the bin that even my 86 year old grandma could make it. After that, they rejoice as if they were down by two during game seven of the finals and just sunk a three.

Solution: Move the trash cans under a table or under a cart. Eliminate the open space above the trash can that gives a wide shooting range. Without thinking about it, students will just get up and throw things away. They won’t even miss it. It is the ultimate defense(catch that double meaning). A few of you are impressed by my basketball lingo. Me too. Be more impressed with the lack of paper balls flying across your classroom airspace.

Ask yourself: What am I constantly trying to get my students to stop doing? Is there a way to restructure, reformat, reposition so that they no longer have the opportunity (to annoy me ;)?

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