Day 41: Students take over

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One of the ways I am trying to ensure long-term retention as well as student discourse is through engaging opener problems and exit questions.  Students submit final documents on Fridays through Schoology (love this feature of LMS).  Today, I used a problem I found on Bob Lochel’s blog mathcoachblog.  Since he used it with his Algebra 2 class, I figured it would be a good out-of-the-blue,  retention/review question and it was!  At first my students said things like, “I don’t know how to do this!,” and “We haven’t done a problem like this yet.”  Of course I encouraged them, saying “of course you can do this…you know I don’t ask you questions that you can’t figure out with what you know.”  Some grabbed their calculators, some expanded the factorials and others noticed the underlying structure.  Great paired discussions.  I then had students share their approach based on the complexity and eloquence of their solutions.  I loved seeing the students listening to each other and offering suggestions and asking clarifying questions  And I never did say what the “correct” answer was 🙂  However, I did point out that the underlying structure helped many students to get to the answer with ease and without a calculator…think before you begin a “brute force” approach.

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Posted on October 28, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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