Friday, February 18, 2011

Super Speedy Quiztastic Fun

A couple weeks ago, I did a trial run of Kate Nowak's speed dating. It was a great way to set students up for coaching each other, and students love the social aspect of the activity.

That got me thinking of a faster version, for practice of basic skills at "lightning speed". I am thinking it could work for identifying properties, factoring a quadratic where a = 1, or anything that is not so paper-and-pencil problem solve-y and more flash card-y. I tried it with converting logs to exponential form, and for evaluating logs.

For the fast version, students stand in two rows facing each other. Everybody has a flash card with the answer on the back. Students quiz the person facing them, and provide coaching as needed. We talked about what appropriate coaching (helpful hints) looks like vs. inappropriate coaching (name-calling, answer telling, etc.). Then, students trade cards and one row moves so that everyone has a new partner and a new question.  I ended up rotating every 15-20 seconds. It worked great, students got reinforcement on these concepts, and the whole activity took less than five minutes.

As a warm-up, I used one set of cards (the 1st and 3rd pages front/back from the document below) for converting logs to exponential form. I made them so that if you copy them front-to-back, then the right answer is on the back of the right card. At least, that was the goal. (I wish I had included some with negative exponents). Then we moved on to another set of cards (2nd and 4th pages), where they had to identify what number goes in place of the '?'.

log flash cards

And, I have to mention, the beauty of the moment when I had this on my board as part of that same lesson:  (When will my brand new fantabulous technology cart function properly??)

No one asked me who had too much time on their hands and thought this stuff up.  No one asked me why they have to learn this stuff.  They just got it.  And they came to class the next day asking if today's math would be as easy as yesterday's.

Thanks (AGAIN!) to Kate for suggesting the use of the word "power" before "log".


  1. You are just simply awesome!! I <3 that you post your files so we can just steal away! Thank you so much! :)

  2. Nicely done! Thanks for sharing your innovations. For more of these cooperative structures, I recommend this book: Cooperative Learning & Mathematics: High School Activities (Grades 8-12)

  3. Thank you both for being so encouraging! And thank you for the book suggestion, Kate. I will definitely check it out. One of my goals for this year is to find as many of these types of things as possible and try them out. I am having a lot of fun on that journey!