Homework Helper

As I am slowly starting to look through files from last year, I found this worksheet a colleague made that I thought was really great. Students had to check their homework answers by matching them up with the corresponding problem number. This happened to be on properties of exponents but I am sure you could use this for many other assignments. When students did not find a match, it opened up an opportunity for discussion and working with each other ensued. It is getting me to think about how I need to vary checking in the homework every day and do a better job at that this year instead of my standard walk around the room and look at it approach. I actually like my standard approach but I wonder what I miss out on learning from my students if I were to mix it up and try collecting a problem or two every once and awhile, give a homework quiz, etc.

Here is the document so you can see what I am talking about. Do you have a different way to assess homework? I would love to hear it.

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July Blogging Challenge # 2 + Factoring The Wrong Way

Alright…another blog post! At some point I have other things I do want to blog about but since I am teaching summer school right now, the activities that I am doing in class make most sense right this moment in time (and my brain is a little tired to be creating something insightful).

We have been practicing factoring and today I gave the students mini whiteboards. I threw a trinomial at them to factor and told them to do it wrong. I love the puzzled looks when I first tell them this. Eventually I convince them that it will be fun so try it! They do and then they trade with a partner to see if they can find the mistake. We talked about how we all make mistakes and now that we know how to factor, trying to make a mistake means you have to think about how to do it correctly first. This activated all of those higher order thinking skills that they have and they had lots of fun. Then, I just made up problems on other stuff we have studied for the last 4 weeks and had them do those wrong as well. Again, trade with a partner and try to figure out their errors. I even grabbed a few white boards that I really liked and brought them to the front of the room to talk about.

I sometimes forget to do things like this but I think that after students have studied a topic, this can bring their understanding to a stronger level. I have had a lot of success with things like this and looking for errors. (It also helps that I probably make a mistake on something weekly in class and students point it out and I praise them for it). Try it out for yourself and see what you think! You can easily do this on paper or something too but I think the mini whiteboards encourage that risk-taking since you can erase and change something easily and since it is not on paper students think it is different and view it differently than a worksheet.

2 posts before this I talked about how I had students grade my quiz and that falls under this same concept. You should check that out if you like these types of things!

Also, comment below or let me know on twitter if you are doing this challenge so I can read your blog! I can’t promise I will comment every single time (nor would I expect you to) but I bet I would learn a lot from you (and hopefully you learn something from me!)

Alt/Hyp, P-Thag/Converse, + Spec. Right Triangles

Here is a common error worksheet I made as I reviewed the topics for a quiz this week. I also have just a regular review worksheet for extra practice as well. The topics covered were:

  • Altitude To Hypotenuse
  • Pythagorean Theorem + Its Converse
  • Special Right Triangles (30-60-90 and 45-45-90)

Section 9.1 – 9.4 Common Errors (With Extra 9.1 – 9.4 Review)

Fixing Some Common Errors

As I am enjoying break right now and thinking about some of the errors that my students have, it reminded me of this common error activity I did with my students. I went in with a whole story of how I really need some help and you (the students) need to help me! They all got in groups and discussed what I had did wrong. These were all mistakes that I have seen way to many times and I didn’t want them to occur on our summative assessment I had planned later in the week. I selected a few students to show everyone the correct way and explain why my way was wrong. Other students would even jump in sometimes to add other stuff. I am thinking about doing something like this again as we get ready for finals so I figured I would share it.

Chapter 4 Common Errors (Review For Chap 4 Test)