“Speed Dating” Review – Get Them Moving!

“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.

Supporting Students – Reviewing the Basics

I teach Algebra 2 to students who have just completed a year of Geometry. They do some algebra throughout the year, but are still rusty on many skills when their year with me begins.

This summer I am assigning an optional review on Delta Math for my students. It’s mostly basics with some beginning Algebra 1 topics. I included rounding, basic percents, fraction operations, order of operations, exponents, slope and linear equations, and basic factoring.

I will give my students a pre-assessment in the first week of school so they will know exactly what concepts they still need to work on.  I plan on reteaching the concepts that the majority of the students struggle with.

However, I’m not quite sure of the best way to help students that need more support than this.  I will leave the Delta Math set live so students can continue to practice those topics.  I plan on holding algebra one review sessions during student choice times for students that need, or want, extra support.  But I would like to make sure it is enough, enough time and enough support.  I want to support students who need review, but I am afraid of spending too much class time reviewing basics.  I don’t want students who do not need the review to be bored in my class.

Mattie suggested that I spend some time putting students together that can help each other, and letting them work with each other.  I do like this idea, as it will be more individualized help for students (instead of just me trying to help many students on many different concepts).  Also, often students understand other students better than the teacher.  I could do this in class occasionally or make it during student choice times.  If students volunteered to help others during choice times they could even earn service hours.  But, I haven’t even thought about how to structure this.

I would love ideas.  How do you support students that need extra help with basic skills during an already hectic school day/year?

 

Functions Unit – Whiteboarding Brain Dumps for “One Sheet” Test Study Guides

This year I am having my students create “One Sheets” for each chapter.  Ideally, this one sheet is one piece of paper with everything they need to know (and don’t want to forget) about the chapter.  Basically, they are creating their own concise study guide for this assessment and future assessments.  My plan is for them to create a one sheet at the end of each chapter, while they know the material best.  Then, they can use them to study for all cumulative tests that I give in the future.  I do not let them use the one-sheets on their assessments.

However, this did not start out as smoothly as I had hoped for some students.  When doing some review work from our first chapter, sequences, earlier this week I noticed that several students were struggling, even though I had them get out their Chapter 1 One Sheets.  The problem, inadequate one sheets.  They had something for every topic, but many students did not have nearly enough.

In our math department meeting this week a couple of the teachers mentioned doing brain dumps on concepts.  Writing on whiteboards, students brainstorm all they can about the topic, then check their notes to find more, then share their board.  Their homework this weekend is to make a one sheet after the in-class brain dump.  I allowed them to take pictures of others students boards, and now I am going to post all of the boards that I got pictures of.  Hopefully they will all look at the other boards on this post and make a FANTASTIC one sheet to share on Monday, and study from for this test and all future tests in my class.

Last chapter they worked on the one sheet individually, then shared them the next day with the rest of the class.  I still want to do this on Monday, but I would love for them to get more out of it. I hope that the brain dump helped.  I believe I am going to have them try to find one thing on another student’s sheet that is NOT on their one-sheet, and add it to the back.

Below are their fantastic whiteboards on functions.  I will share their one sheets next week!

Foldable for Functions and Graphing (Graphic Organizer)

Our Functions chapter is full of great information that I would love my students to remember – even more than usual!  I created this Graphic Organizer in the form of a foldable.  It is stuffed full of information including…

  1. NAGS – the four ways to represent a linear equation.  Numerical/analytical, Algebraic equation, Graph, Sentence.  (Thanks @pamjwilson for this idea!)
  2. Functions – Function notation, Domain, Range, Vertical line test.
  3. GRAPHING – Three ways to graph, Table, y=mx+b, using intercepts
  4. Slope – words, formulas, parallel, and perpendicular slopes
  5. Inequalities – Graphing inequalities in two variable.  Dotted line vs. shaded line, test point.

On the back I put a place for their name and extra notes.  The notes section was a new addition to this type of foldable for me and one of my favorite parts!

I go over the graphic organizer in class, giving them examples to work for most of the sections.  After we were finished, I had them turn the graphic organizer over and write notes on the back.  I suggested that they could take notes of things they wanted to remember, or about the topics they felt they needed to focus on when studying.  It was good to do this after the review because what they were unclear about was fresh in their heads.  I then had a few students share what they wrote.  This was helpful to other students.  Some of them wrote extra items as other students read their notes out in class.

I had much higher than usual scores on this test (and more students scoring higher as well).  Considering that this is one of our more difficult topics of the year, I feel that this foldable really helped the students!

Note:  I did not include how to write linear equations because my students are solid in this area.  We added examples when we went over this in class.

To use:  This is a double sided foldable.  You will need to print both side, being sure to line the correct word up with the inside when you print it out.  Students will need to only fold the outside two flaps and then cut on the dotted lines.

File to print out:  7th Chapter 8 Review Foldable – Graphing PDF  or one you can edit from Box.