Today was hot, I’d bet a lot of school across the country felt the same way. I gave algebra and geometry a list of the concepts that will appear on the final exam, suggested problems to review and set them loose. Finals are Thursday and Friday of this week so we have a good amount of time to review.
Algebra reviewed factoring trinomials today. A colleague shared with me a review game he used late last week, which he found over at Nathan Kraft’s Blog.
This is hands down one of my favorite.
Nathan has a great write up with detailed directions, so I am just going to highlight a few fun things I observed (I did add a few rounds where students could add an X instead of remove one).
- Politics; Students would make treaties with others or try to bribe them (with their own homework passes or negotiate a two-turn treaty)
- In one period, a group of students would answer each question correctly and then form a huddle to decide on which student to turn into a zombie each round… This eventually led to members of the group betraying one-another.
- One particular student convinced 8 others to give him lives during a health round… This set the cross-hairs on him and he was quickly eliminated the following round.
- “Next time we play this I’m not gonna trust you”… “Can we play this again next week?” THEY WANTED MORE.
- Lots and lots of great math happened throughout the period.
Algebra has been spending a lot of time on factoring GCF. Today, they topped off their practice with a round of factoring/distributing BINGO.
Earlier this year, I wrote a post about how BINGO works, check that out here.
I regret using multiple variables here, a few students picked up on just matching variables and coefficients. Maybe that’s a good thing they picked up on it though, it made their lives a whole lot easier. If students won I gave ’em a homework pass. By the end of the period they were begging for just one more number. Fun.
I used today as review in both algebra and geometry. There are a couple different types of review I have tried in the past. Racecar Math and Station Reviews have been my go to. Today I tried Basketball, which I found over at Dan Meyer’s site.
Every period was really into it. There is never a flawless type of review but this was definitely worth the time. I picked up a mini ball for under $5, set up my trash can on a wall, and put these rules up on the board.
1. I will put up a question.
2. You will answer it on a sheet of paper (turned in).
3. Once you have an answer, stand up.
4. Correct 1 = shot, Incorrect = 1 shot for me.
5. Once you have answered correctly, you may not stand up again till everyone in the room has tried.
- Talking = 1 shot for me
- You can pass your shot off to someone else
- Three people can shoot per problem
- I am terrible at basketball
I ended up losing to every period but of them. Most of the time it was down to the wire and students were on the edge of their seats cheering. There were some random name that state flag and capitols thrown throughout the mix.
For those wondering, we averaged about 14 review questions per period. This was a lot of fun!
Today, algebra reviewed finding the equation of a line when given two points for a concept test tomorrow. A few months ago, I came across this post over at Everybody is a Genius. The idea had been sitting in my bookmarks for way to long so I gave a try.
I used pretty much the exact format explained in the post. Random.org was my go to for generating the numbers and I created my own template for the board.
As a class we worked through a few of the difficult ones with fractions as y-intercepts as they came up and took some time to discuss ordered pairs with x-values of 0.It is true that by the end of the period students were begging for just one more question.
I had a fun time watching students work through this review. I may have had even more fun telling them about watching older folks play bingo on cruise ships when growing up.
I didn’t have good feelings about only spending two days on the slope equation in algebra. I had originally planned to print off a few Pizzazz worksheets and spend another day practicing. I didn’t feel good about that either.
Instead I looked over at my bookshelf and saw the remote control monster truck I bought last year. It ended up being a good move…
Both Dan and Andrew have posted about this sort of review. I tweaked it a bit and used it as a way of getting students to practice a concept more without the monotony of back to back days of book work and worksheets.
I picked this up from Target for $14.99 last year.
I explained there were two types of problems; individual and group, each slide would indicate the type of problem. For group problems they would work on the large whiteboards on their desks.
I gave students about a minute for each problem, once they had an answer they stood up. Only one person from each group could be standing at a time.
I paced around, looking at students work. After the timer I read out all the answers I saw and called up the standing students with the correct answers to drive the car. Those who were incorrect worked with their groups to correct the mistake.
Students drove the car in a 25 foot L shape the ended with this:
Each box was worth points equal to its number. If they back the car into the box it was worth double points.
All my students were on board today. The only downside to this is we spent about equal time driving the car as we did doing math. I will fine tune the process in the future.
Best part of the day… Geometry came in begging to drive the car today. They had been hearing about it all day I guess.
One type of review I like to have students go through is stations. They have six different stations they rotate through with various types of problems. Here is how it works:
- Students break into groups of 3-4.
- Each student has their own sheet of paper where they show all their work.
- Once they finish the review each group staples all their work together as a packet.
- I randomly choose one of the groups papers and grade it on correctness.
- The whole group receives that persons score.
After doing this a few times here are the things I like about the review:
- Students work hard the whole time.
- Classroom management is minimal.
- I get to monitor the room and work with individual students/groups to address misconceptions.
And here are the things i don’t like:
- Students are extrinsically motivated to work.
- A lot of the times I see the group copying one student’s work.
The reason I wanted to post about this today was I heard a student say “Gosh this is miserable”.
This is the first time this year I have heard a student say this (I am sure it has happened but I haven’t heard it yet).
I have given practice assignments, book work and worksheets throughout the year but students were never vocal about disliking them. I have a theory as to why students suddenly started complaining…
There is a grade attached to it.
The second I shift students focus away from going through problems as practice to going through problems for a grade the entire classroom environment I have created flips upside down. I felt dirty telling students that I was giving them a grade based off how another student in their group preformed.
I believe there is a lot of great aspects to take away from this type of review. But on the flip side, I need to shift student’s focus during the activity. More to come on this when I revamp it and try it again in a couple months.