Saturday, January 11, 2014

"It Slices, It Dices"

I've written about how much I love Steven Strogatz's book The Joy of x and how I have a class set of his marvelous book and how I've used anticipation guides to get my students to read and debate selected chapters from this book.

So, I won't do that again.  But here's another anticipation guide for the first part of his chapter "It Slices, It Dices" [aka an introduction to the integral].

If you don't have his book handy, you can read the chapter in the New York Times Opinion Pages here.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Just a little review...

In Algebra II, I tried a different kind of review as we were preparing for final.  It worked well, so I thought I'd share:

  1. Type up/select some review problems and number them as you go, just like you would a review guide or practice test (all my questions were multiple choice, but free response would work, too).  I'd write a few more problems than there are students so each kid will get 1-2 total.
  2. Print off the problems and cut them into strips.
  3. Pass out the strips of paper (more advanced students got harder problems).  Also, as students finish before others, you can give the fast workers another problem since you made some extras (mwahahaha).
  4. As students finish, have them record their answer(s).  They can use their own paper or something like this for ease in assessing on the teacher's part.  Check students' work for accuracy as they finish.  If the answer is correct, they get a piece of tape.
  5. Once everyone is finished, students put their name on the strip(s) of paper they received and are told to place their problem anywhere in the room.  The only two restrictions I gave were (1) each piece of paper had to be put in a place where even a person of my height could see it and (2) don't hang anything from the Smart Board.
  6. After the problems are hung, the kids work each problem.  If they have a question on a problem, they are to consult the person whose name is written on that piece of paper.
The students worked all hour and I think I answered like two questions the whole time.  I even had one girl say, "Mrs. Peterson, can you...wait!  Never mind, I'm supposed to ask...[so and so]."


I printed off the problems on a colored sheet of paper, just to make things more exciting, I guess.  But that turned out to be good because the kids asked if we could do this review again the next day, so I printed off more problems on a different color for the following class period.  My classroom looked like a hot mess for a couple days, but it was definitely worth it.

Do you have any other ways you love to review that put the onus on the students?