“Speed Dating” is a very easy way to spice up a review / practice day. It’s a quick twist on an otherwise long day of just working review problems, especially when we have too much material to get through for some of my favorite games like Trasketball or Survivor. I do it a bit differently than it has been done in math classes previously.** Each students sits with one partner to do one problem that I project. They each work on individual whiteboards, but talk together while working. I walk around and answer questions while they work. After we finish each problem, one person at each table rotates to the next table. The same people move all period. I usually have them do a quick rock, paper, scissors, to determine who has to move.
I usually have the students put everything away and clear off all of the tables. Then, I have them put their bookbags against the walls so everyone can move around the room more easily. I really like that they don’t have all of their “stuff” out during this activity as I think it helps them focus on just the math and their partner.
I make a big deal about saying “HI!” to your new date after every rotation. I also tell them to be a good date by talking and helping each other out. Occasionally I will have an odd number, then I just put three people at one table.
I think it works so well for two reasons. First, the kids are moving all period long, which helps them stay alert. Second, they are working with a new partner for each problem. The combination of these two things keeps them more interested and alert than the normal review day. I also love doing groups of two because each student feels more responsible for helping their “date” and getting the work completed together.
**The original “Speed Dating” in Math Class idea came from the amazing Kate Nowak. She does it a bit differently, where each student is an expert on a certain problem and then explains it to others. I like that as well when it is a review with different types of problems, but use this method when I need the same type of problems to get progressively more complicated for the entire class.