I have done this type of review before but I changed a little bit about it this time. I put the kids into groups and they have to compete to be the first group to get all of the problems checked off. This time, however, I required all of the students to have all of the problems checked off instead of just one page for each group, and then I also added a key step that I loved. Every time someone brought a page up to me, I would ask pick random problems that they had to explain to me. Working in groups got them talking, which I loved, but then they also had to hold up their own end of things by proving they knew their stuff. If they didn’t know it, I sent them back to their groups to figure it out then they had to come back to me and explain the problem. Some kids came up to me multiple times before I would approve their problem. But they learned it in the end!
My funny for the day/week: A student came up to me and I asked him how he got the answer to the problem and he responded, “that’s what my calculator said.” So I stopped the whole class and I told them that calculators do not tell us answers. They don’t say, “Hey Steve, the answer is 45.” You put things in your calculator and it does those things. I want to know those things you told your calculator to do. Then I sent them back to work. About 30 seconds later, a student came up to me and handed me his calculator. His graphing calculator. And on it, he had typed, “Name the answer is 45.” 🙂 I guess he showed me! And that is why I love teaching middle school.
I did this activity from Amy over at square root of negative one teach math for my test review this week. It was so awesome! I created the activity and then I told the special ed teacher what we were doing and as I was explaining it I realized exactly how chaotic it sounded! All of the kids… WALKING AROUND THE ROOM? TALKING??
I created 8 stations and divided the kids into groups of 3-4 to rotate through the stations checking their answers on the next problem as they went. Then when things were done we went over any questions they had.
When they finished early at a station, they worked on the writing prompt that I gave them. I am trying to include more writing in my class to get the kids used to how much writing will be on the upcoming common core assessments. I started off with something pretty simple (or so I thought) this time and just had them solve a problem and explain why the answer made sense. The problem was a percent of change problem- Find the percent of change from 30 to 15. So the basic explanation was the answer (50% decrease) makes sense because 15 is half of 30, and 50% is equal to a half. Many kids did really well on this, but several struggled with the difference between explaining why the answer made sense and telling me how they did the problem. This is what I plan to work on next!
I gave a test this week over the material we learned in the first unit. The day before, I had the kids review the material in groups. I gave them this page:
I made a pdf to upload to scribd because I am tired of my formatting looking so crazy whenever I upload it, especially since I used a bunch of crazy fonts on this page. I will also include the link to the word document, so you can change it to meet your review material if you want!
PDF File if for some reason you have the same exact unit as I do 🙂
The kids worked on this page in groups. Each kid had to bring their paper to me to check in the box when the problem was right. If it was wrong, I sent them back to work. Only one student from each group was allowed out of their seats at a time. The group that had all students with all problems checked off first won. I didn’t think it would be as successful as it was, but the competition brought out a great side in some kids and they were working hard to make sure that everyone in their group knew the material!
I missed the announcement that #myFavFriday last week was supposed to be about review games, so I thought I would add my favorite today! It is very simple. All you do is choose the problems that you want students to work on, and cut up small sheets of paper (I do 1/4 page). Put a box in the center of the room with the desks in a circle around it. Give out the problem, students complete the problem, then crumple their papers up and throw them to the box. When everyone has finished, I check the box. Your answer must be correct and show all work in order for you to get a prize (candy). If it is incorrect, no candy for you! Very easy to do, and students love throwing things and crumpling paper.