Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Quick Update: Math Taboo, Student-Led Warm-ups

My student teaching really kicked up a while back, and I completely forgot about this blog. There's so much to write about!

About a month ago, we played Math Taboo!
I put students into groups of 3. Then, I paired up groups to play Math Taboo! We essentially used the same rules from the real game (groups sit in alternating order, each individual gets 1 minute to describe the word on the card). I made cards using vocabulary terms and theorems that spanned from the beginning of the year, including: distance (taboo word: length), biconditional (no taboo words), and many others. I had 3 sets of cards prepared, but we only got through 2. After the first round, we tallied the scores from each team, and set the winning teams against each other in a tournament-style showdown, with the rest of the class watching as the audience. The kids had a blast, especially the students who usually struggle with the concepts--they were on fire! This activity actually got some of my students a little too excited, and the amount of chaos annoyed the heck out of my mentor.

Also about a month ago, we began doing Student-Led warm-ups twice a week (usually Tuesdays and Thursdays). I made the warm-ups very open-ended, and gave the students freedom to choose any topic from Algebra I through whatever we've learned in Geometry this year. I took volunteers when I announced the project, and am still going through my list of volunteers. They generally have a week to plan their warm-ups (I announce the week prior). I set my expectations pretty clearly from the beginning, and gave them a rubric as a reference:

 I also have their classmates fill out peer evaluation forms:
The students have been enjoying the project so far, and I've been using it as a grade booster, since it's part of their assessment grades. Some of the students are downers on the whole idea, and are totally not into it... but hopefully that changes once they present! It's also my action-research project. ;)

Lately, I've been working with my students on quadrilateral properties. It's been kinda difficult making the lessons more engaging... and the kids are always complaining about having to take notes (almost every day). We're writing poems about quadrilaterals tomorrow, and taking a quiz on Thursday. I hope they do well!

...And then it's onward to Similarity, Right Triangles, and Trigonometry. @_@ Time flies!