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Day 120: Candy Store for Math Teachers

I just love this conference.  There is so much to see, do and learn.

Opening speaker was Jo Boaler talking about Fixed and Growth Mindsets in Mathematics

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Then the rest of the day I attended a variety of sessions using and not using technology, using and not using the math practices, using and not using engagement techniques.  It is really interesting to see how certain strategies in presenting make such a difference

Once strategy I found intriguing is “My Favorite NO-Learning from Mistakes,” presented by Sharon Bruce.  Have to think about how to make this happen in the secondary upper math classroom.  Of course, with a good idea, there is always a way!


Day 63: Clock Buddies!

Last week I was talking with the Spanish teacher here in our building and she shared that she has kids pair up using clock buddies, in Spanish of course!  What a great reminder that I had not set this up with my classes this year and I love the flexibility it offers, the ownership it gives to the students to pick their partners and guarantees variety of student pairings too.


So how does this student collaboration strategy work?  Well, clock buddies is a variation on the “Speed Dating” strategy, but not so intensive.  I hand out this clock buddies form I found at Reading Quest that has been reduced to half size.  Using the clock image with a blank next to each time, students find a unique partner for each time slot.  For instance, when student A finds a partner for, say, 2 o’clock, student A writes student B’s name on the 2 o’clock blank and student B writes student A’s name on their 2 o’clock blank.  Every blank is to be filled with a different name.  Occasionally, students can’t find a unique partner so we do a call-out and pair them up.  If there is not a unique person for the time slot, then the student can use a name twice.  Also, if there is an odd person out, then either they fill in when a clock buddy pair has an individual absent or I allow them to chose the clock buddy pair to join.

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Once all of the cards are filled out, I have the students take a photo of it and store it on their iPad in their Notability app.  If your students can’t take a photo, have them store their completed form in their notebook.  What strategies do you use to get students talking to each other?

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