Thursday, June 23, 2016

PreCal Wrapped Up

I am following up on my shout for help.  My Pre-Cal students had been working like crazy people as we tried to finish up the curriculum and they came through with flying colors.  As a result, I wanted to make their final exam time a bit more fun, but still really educational.

I put the call out to the MTBoS and as usual they had some grand ideas!  I also chatted with the other PreCal teacher to see what she thought of this idea of creating a game or activity.  We both agreed that our students frequently come to us with areas of weaknesses.  We decided that we would focus this game idea on those areas that needed the most remediation throughout the year.

The topics were

  • Positive/negative/rational exponents (switching forms, identifying equivalent expressions)
  • Factoring - Quadratics and sums and differences of cubes
  • Radians and degrees on the Unit Circle: being able to convert from one to the other quickly
  • Parent functions and their transformations
The kids did a great job!  I shared the handout in my previous post.  Here is how they were scored.

And here they are playing the games.

"Mathletics: a Factoring Game"

"Forehead Graphs; Transformation of Functions"
(A student from a different group suggested they call it "Skin Graphs", which I
thought was hysterical, but for some reason they didn't go with it.) 

"M4th Fish:  Exponents"
A  Go Fish game where they tried to get all 4 equivalent cards.
Later they made it into just a match was good enough!

Radian-Degree Matching Game
This game had a bonus round:  after you made 3 matches, you got several
tries with the green cards to see if you could match the coordinates
of your purple degree/radian cards.
I gave them one 80 minute class to do most of the creating.  The second 90 minute class to "test drive" it in their own group and get the rules written up.  Before the class was over, they had to hand their instructions to another group who gave them feedback on the clarity of the rules/instructions.  Edits were made.

On the day of the exam we had 90 minutes.  That meant time to play 2 of 3 games, time for each group to get feedback from the others, and then 25-30 mins for them to type up and submit their reflections.  Worked out pretty well!

Things they all commented on:

  • They wished there had been time enough to play all 3 games (not sure how to work this in next year.  Maybe let the group that reads the instructions also do the "test driving" and provide feedback?)
  • They really enjoyed working on these topics and reviewing them. ALL agreed these were areas they had struggled with or forgotten about and felt more comfortable with them by the end of the exam time.
  • They were incredibly grateful to have done this and not a paper and pencil exam.
This was a really special class.  They worked so hard all year and even in the end, they put effort into creating AND playing the games.  I am going to miss them SO much!

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