Friday, January 28, 2011

Trial Run: Speed Dating

Today I test drove another fantabulous idea from f(t).  I spent the week on rational expressions and complex fractions, so I wanted to review all of that.  I won't go into all the details, because I pretty much followed the activity exactly as Kate describes it.

So here's my reflection . . .

What I liked about speed dating:  At any given moment, all the students were doing math (well, almost).  And they weren't just watching someone do math, they were actively participating by either doing a problem or helping someone else do a problem.  I love empowering the students to coach each other.

What I didn't like:  I must admit, the noise level was a little out of my comfort zone.  But I am trying to stretch myself as a teacher and I can definitely learn to adjust.  I also need to learn how to tell the difference between goofing around noise and the sound of good productive math conversations.  I would say that the noise was 90% productive today, and I think that is pretty good.  Also, the room getting loud was a really good indication that it was time to move on to the next problem.

I think I need to spend some time teaching students what good coaching looks like, but I am doing this activity again for sure.

By the way, I didn't use the term "speed dating" with my students.  However, it took about five minutes in each class before someone says "this is like speed dating".  And then they started being cute and saying "Hello, my name is ____" when they sat down with a new partner and "It was nice to meet you" as they moved on to the next partner.  Oh, I love high school students!

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