Posted in game, No Prep Required

No Prep Required: Casino Game

Picture of me in Vegas during our trip in 2008
Picture of me in Vegas during our trip in 2008

On my students’ feedback sheet, many listed casino as their favorite way to learn Spanish.  The good news is it is so easy to prep!  The bad news is it slightly encourages gambling!! However, since we don’t use real money, I think we are good.  Plus, students have to use their math skills, too.  I am pretty sure that I got this idea from my amazing cooperating teacher!

Each student starts out with 20 euros.  (Here you could change the type of money if you like!)  Each student writes down their “bet:” an amount from 1 euro to 19 euros.  They cannot bet the full amount because once they are out, they technically cannot play!  (Although some students “loan” other students money!!)  Then I ask a question, it can be vocabulary, grammar based, literature based or just a personal question for them to respond.  If they get it correct, they add to their money, but if they get it wrong, they lose their money.  Once they add (or subtract) to their final amount, they can bet that amount minus 1 euro for the next question.  With the very last question, I let them bet all of their money if they want.  I also try to make it the trickiest question!

Another caveat is that I do not allow them to bet change until they are down to a dollar.  It can take them too long to figure out their amount, and it takes away the point of the game.  Next year, I plan on having them convert the money that they “won” to American dollars.  I have found that it is really good for practice because it is somewhat a pop quiz for them without any of the threat of a grade!  “Pop quizzes” really help students’ learning as long as they are not connected to students’ grades because they show each student what they know.  Hope this game works for you!


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