Work Time to Play Time


I have officially finished all of my summer reading (summer math isn’t quite finished yet thought). I think my biggest motivation to finish summer reading was because of how much I wanted to get to other books that I want to read.

I’ve been trying to track down the book “Mort” all summer practically. I checked 2 or 3 bookstores in New York, 2 in between North Carolina and Georgia, and 2 in Georgia, but I couldn’t find it. Finally, my grandma just ordered it, but that means even though it came in, it is in New York. So I have to wait a few more days until it gets to Ohio. (She sent it yesterday supposedly.)

I have been trying to find this book because our fall play that we will be preforming in a one act competition is an adaptation of this book. Therefore, I figured I would try to read it over the summer to have an idea of the play going into the auditions.

While looking for “Mort”, I also discovered another book that I had been wanting to read, so my grandma got me that as well. I’m planning on starting this one until “Mort” arrives, then switching to “Mort”.

The problem now is that I have math to do still. In past years I have done all of the math in the first week so I could enjoy the rest of the summer and my trips without worrying about needing to get that done. This year I felt that the math had gotten complex enough where it would be better to wait until closer to the start of school to finish. (The idea of taking a test that first Friday also made me want to remember it well.)

Since I have math still, I feel like I need to work on that in my “free time” rather than reading like I want to be doing.

What had once been my work is now “just for fun”.

What if my work was my just for fun activity? It is the same activity: reading. The only difference is what I’m reading.

With math I’ve had several friends agree with me about how we liked the old way we had summer math better. Currently we do math online. This means we need internet. Plus we have about 90 sections and for each section we have to get 5 in a row correct to pass it. That is already 450 problems assuming you get nothing wrong.

In the past we would have a physical packet, so we could take it anywhere. There was just a set number of problems. Then to top it off, it wasn’t about getting things correct. Summer work is about practice, not perfection. You would attempt all of the problems (sometimes there would be challenge problems to give you a taste for next year, and to show the teacher an idea of what you can figure out), then you could check your answers online. For some reason, this just seemed a lot less stressful.

However, the school felt a reason to change this, so maybe there is a happy medium, or maybe something completely different. The problem for me at least, is the stress and time it takes to get 5 in a row correct (even if you know the material you can always make simple mistakes).

What if math was done like a video game? They have games like this for younger students, but once you get past Algebra 2 they usually stop. This has some to do with age, a video game designed for 1st graders probably won’t entertain a 10th grader. So what if there was a new game? Teachers could pick problems or sections, and then it was given to the students in the form of a video game (an app probably).

I think it would help if the requirement is somehow time based. This way students don’t go insane working for hours on 1 problem, but they are practicing. The hope would be to make a game entertaining and addicting enough to get students to want to play (practice) longer.

Making the “work” the “fun time” the “choice time” the “play time”. Life is a game, so why not make work a game too? High schoolers are still kids despite what some may say. If you give them a challenge that is addicting enough, they will want to finish it.

HMW enjoy our work?


2 thoughts on “Work Time to Play Time

  1. Just a quick comment on what needs to be done before school starts next Wednesday. You don’t have to get practiced on all of those skills. You will not be graded on them. You just need to make sure you know the topics as you will have a test early in the year. I mentioned to one of your friends, look at a skill and if you are confident that you know it, move on if you don’t have time. Finally, the 15 skills on this list should be your focus (and should be review from Algebra 2): Let me know if you need anything else or email Mrs. Meagher (formerly Ms. Ashby).

    1. Okay. Thanks for clearing that up. I actually just found that out last night about only the 15 skills. We got confused with there then also being the recommended skills on Khan. (Now I only have to finish skill 13.) Let’s just say I was getting really annoyed with Khan before writing this post.

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