Day 41: Students take over
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.