Monday, November 22, 2010

Speed Dating (I promise this is really about math)

I got this idea from Kate Nowak over at f(t) and I had been wanting to use her idea for one of my test reviews this year. I did change it quite a bit but I am sure she will recognize it as her original idea. I have been trying to come up with a creative way to review for tests this year for each and every single test. It has been a chore, but with a little help from my friends in the edublogging community, I have managed to pull it off.

When students arrived in my class this morning, the desks were arranged in pairs so that the desks were facing each other. I had 6 pairs in each row for a total of 15 stations. I told them to sit wherever they wanted and they naturally sat with their best friend, but it was no big deal, because they would not be sitting there long.

I passed out the test review which I had prepared in advance. It had about 24 problems on it. As we began the review, I told the partners to work #21-24 and gave them 5 minutes. I started my timer and walked around the room giving assistance. After five minutes, I showed the correct solutions, let them fix anything they missed and then told them that one person from each group would now be rotating to the next set of desks.

For the first rotation, I said the person with the shortest hair should move to the next station. I then picked another 3-4 problems and gave them a time limit. My next rotation was the person with the longest first name had to move. This went on and on until we finished the review. The other ideas I had for rotating were student with most siblings, person with earliest birthday, person with shortest last name etc. The students quickly picked up on the fact that what we were doing was just like speed dating. I'm not sure how they know about speed dating, but I said I guess you could call it speed dating if you wanted to and they got a big kick about who all was "dating" who during the test review.

This activity ensured that they worked with many different partners. By keeping them guessing which problems we would do next, it kept them from rushing ahead and not being able to work as a team with their partners. The timer is also an important part of the review, because for some reason, it really helps keep them on task and get the problems finished when they see the time ticking down on the smartboard.

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