Saturday, January 3, 2015

Spark Student Motivation: Two fun ways to review math!

Vacation is almost over--how did it fly by so quickly?  I know I accomplished a lot of my "to do" list but it seems like that every time I crossed something off, I remembered two more things to add.  I am looking forward to getting back to my routine and seeing the kiddos--we have so much to do! I am linking up with Joanne to share a few review ideas that we will be using this first week back.

One review activity that we do I call "Compute and Check."  First I have the kids divide their paper into 8 sections (fold it in half twice and the opposite way in half once.)   I put 8 (sometimes I do more and we just use the back side) review problems up on the document camera.  The students do a problem one at a time and come back to where I am sitting and I check it to see if it is correct.  I have answer key right there which I keep partially covered to prevent peeking.  I give them a star if it is right and a dot if it is wrong (the dots help me track how many times it took them to figure out the right answer.)  If it is wrong, the student has to find the error and correct it.  However, if the coveted star is earned, the student gets to move on to the next problem.  I never correct more than one problem per student at a time (sometimes they like to try to sneak an extra one in there--but I hold firm!)  I also don't explain their mistakes to them as that holds up the line.  I like this activity because it allows kids to work at their own pace, and they get immediate feedback on their work.

Another fun activity that we do regularly is called Scavenger Hunt.  I have found that 10 posters/problems is the right amount for my class of 6th graders.  To create the scavenger hunt posters, you need to first determine the problems you want them to solve and then the answers for the problems.  Don't number the posters until the end!  (This is the key to making the scavenger hunt work correctly.)  Then, starting with poster one, write a problem on it in the middle of the poster.  Place the answer to that problem in the corner of poster two.  Write a problem in the middle of poster two and the answer goes on poster three.  Keep repeating this until you get to the final poster--the answer for the final problem goes on the first poster.  Now....go back and number the posters but not in the correct order.  What was poster #1 can be poster # 8 and 8 can become 3, etc.  (I used to use a 10 letter word--with one letter on each poster--but my bright kiddos figured this trick out and wouldn't do the math.)  the posters can be hung up around the room in any order and kids can start with any poster--it should make a chain. Most of the kids can solve the problems correctly in the 20 or so minutes I give them to complete this activity.  While they are working on the hunt, I can either monitor to see who has it and who doesn't or I can pull a small group to provide those who are struggling with additional support.  (If I pull a group, I just hang the posters on the other side of the room instead of all around it.)  It really is a fun way for students to independently practice their skills with immediate feedback--if they can't find the answer, then they know they made a mistake.  I have an example of one hunt I created in my store--if this didn't make enough sense.

I am planning on using the first activity when we get back to review a bit of what we were working on before vacation.  It will keep them moving and it is doesn't take too long to prep!

No comments:

Post a Comment