Thursday, 17 November 2011
Math 9: Rational Numbers
In Melissa Berrisford’s math 9 class, as an alternative to individual work, the students were put into groups of four for a game. Each student was given a piece of paper and asked to divide it into 8 sections (they could choose to fold the paper however they wanted). Then a problem was put on the overhead and every student wrote the problem down on their paper individually but they were all expected to collaborate in how they solved it. The whole group then had to agree on a final answer at which point one appointed student would raise their answer in the air and ask the teacher to check it. If the answer was correct the group would be allowed to advance to the next problem (the students worked through a total of 8 problems).
The whole thing is a competition (to see which group can successfully complete the 8 problems) and it engages students who like to compete but it also takes the risk away from less confident students as they are allowed to work through their answers with other students, and they don’t have to hold up their answers by themselves. This same game format could be used for various topics.