Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Similarities and Differences-A Smartboard Activity

If you have a smart board in your classroom, here is an idea I used today which worked wonderful. I think you could adapt it to a wide variety of lessons. I was introducing polynomials and monomials today in Algebra I and since it is their first exposure to these topics, I wanted to give them a good background before I just rushed into teaching multiplication properties of exponents.

I put up a slide that said "Monomial" on the left side and "Polynomial" on the right side. In the middle, I put about eight or nine algebraic expressions that were either monomials or polynomials arranged in a column.

The directions at the top of the slide said to slide each expression to the appropriate side of the board. I had no shortage of volunteers who wanted to come to the board and "slide" an expression to the appropriate side of the board. The students absolutely love playing with the smartboard and got a big kick out of doing this. After we had finished sorting the expressions, I was able to ask some critcal thinking questions like "What would you say the difference between a polynomial and monomial is," or "How would you define a monomial and polynomial based on these examples." The kids seemed to enjoy the discussion and correcting each other on their ideas.

I think the idea of sorting things based on similarities and differences is an important concept and allows a mental folder to be placed into the brain so new concepts have a place to land. So many times we skip this introductory step in learning and our students suffer for it.

I think this smartboard activity would work great for so many things. I had a few ideas today like putting linear equations in standard form in the middle column and sort them based on positive slope/negative slope or maybe positive y-int/negative y-intercept.

How about sorting different functions to determine whether they are linear or quadratic?

Maybe use it for function transformations. Which functions will produce a stretch or a shrink. The possibilities are endless and it needn't be a time consuming activity. Ten minutes is plenty to sort and then have some type of discussion.

If anyone else has an inspiration, I'd be glad to hear it.

5 comments:

Pissed Off said...

This sounds great. If I get to use one of the new smart boards, I might actually try it.

Kate Nowak said...

Hey if you want to blow their minds, search the Smart Notebook gallery for the vortex. I look for any excuse to sort crap on the SB because the cherubs <3 the vortex.

Mrs. H said...

Kate, didn't know anything about the vortex. I will check into it today. The more I learn about my smartboard the more I love it.

Theresa Milstein said...

I've subbed in inclusion classroom that make use of Smartboards. It's a great opportunity for me to see how they can be utilized. I've witnessed a few math lessons and a Social Studies map lesson. Some teachers are intimidated by them, so it's great that you're using it.

Anonymous said...

What if you had the 8-9 examples on the board and told the students to sort them into two columns that didn't have headers? This could prove to be a good class discussion point to weed out the sorting they might do that would not work, but then once the class decided on the correct sort, you give them a few more examples and ask them to put them into the correct column. And then you ask them to explain why the new examples go into each column.

Or you can use Concept Attainment, which is similar, but slightly different. Anything fun with the smartboard is always a blast!

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