I did go through and do the Flowers in the Garden activity with my Algebra 2 and Advanced Algebra 2 students on Friday. It is based on Ghosts in the Graveyard from Math Tales in the Spring. I felt that it went better than it did with my first class on Thursday. Students had a better idea of what they were doing. I had put 2 problems per card instead of three. They earned a flower for each problem they successfully completed, rather than the whole card. I think that kept them moving, plus since they were adding and subtracting rational expressions, each problem took some time. If I do this one again, I think I would only put one problem per card if they take that long. In my Advanced Algebra 2 class, it was actually good to see that the team who completed the most wasn't the winner - I like that each "garden" got assigned a random number of points. Rather than do 25, 50, 75, and 100 points, I did 1, 2, 3, or 4 points. I think this activity works better if the students have a pretty good grasp on what they're doing. If they don't have much of an idea, it's harder to keep them moving.
In my Advanced Algebra 2 class, there were a couple of students who commented that "Mrs. Henry has the best games ever" or something along those lines. It was gratifying that they enjoyed the activity and seemed to get something out of it. I have to remember that even though they will do the work outside of class or the worksheet in class, they like to do these kinds of activities too and it's worth the effort to put it together for them. Just because they're compliant with what needs to be done to learn the material doesn't mean that they should get left out of the "fun" activities.