Sunday, March 20, 2011

You take the Left side and I'll take the Right side

As a math teacher, I give a lot of problems to my students that are equations. This provides a great opportunity for students to work together to solve a problem. Put one student on the left side of the problem and another student on the right side of the problem. Then they can only do things on their "side" of the problem. It was amazing. Basically, it forced my students to work in tandem and at the same speed. Even better was the fact that they had to talk the math out. So one person added something to her side of the equation. That meant that their partner had to add something to their side as well. They would each discuss what had to be done next. If one student tried to do something to one side, the other person would not do anything to their side until things were explained. It was a magical moment. So here is how I designed it.

I did a podcast on this very topic at . Check out Podcast #81.

We were doing 2 step equations in Introduction to Algebra

1. Have the students working in pairs. Have them move their desks next to each other.

2. Have one sheet of paper per pair of students.

3. Tell the student in the left desk that they are only allowed to write on the left side of the equation. Also, the person in the right desk are only allowed to write on the right side of the equation.

4. Give a question to your students that is an equation.

5. Watch your students work together to solve the problem.

6. Monitor your students to see when they might be getting done.

7. Pick a student at random to come to the board with their partner and explain the problem. The pair should bring up the paper they were working on to guide them.

8. The pair should "JUSTIFY" what they do. I like to have both students alternate talking.

9. Enjoy having your students engaged!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Using the Dual Touch SMARTBoard in Class

Have you seen the new game called "Minute to Win It"? It is a great game. In the show there is something called the "Breakfast Scramble" where a cereal box is cut up in to 20 rectangular equal size pieces. Then they have two people working together to put the pieces back together again. Of course they have to do it in a Minute. Here is a video of the rules. While I was watching the show I thought of using my new DUAL TOUCH 800 Series SMARTBOARD. Perfect for our DUAL TOUCH SMARTBoard! Here is what I did in class. 1. I found a picture that would be easy to put back together. 2. Then I cut the problem up into 12 square pieces. (I used the screen capture tool by placing a light gray dotted grid over the picture) We did a podcast on this very topic with instructions. All you have to do is go to podcast number 81 at 3. I deleted the picture and scattered the 12 pieces around the page. 4. I put a timer in the corner. (optional) 5. Now I chose two students to come up to the board and UN-SCRAMBLE the picture. This was really engaging and it was fun to see people working together. Here are my students working on the new DUAL TOUCH 800 Series SMARTBoard. Today I made a problem in my Introduction to Algebra class and then cut it up into 12 pieces. I asked two students to come up and put the problem together and then solve it. The rest of the class has to wait until the problem is revealed before they could start on the rest of the problem. Check out the video below. It turned out to be a very engaging activity. I'm excited to learn more tricks with the board. This is my third day with the new board. I anticipate a lot of new FUN. Do you have a 800 Series SMARTBoard? Let me know. How are you using the dual touch feature? All the Best, Dave