Thursday, February 7, 2013

Positive results from stomach bug

 I wasn't feeling well today.  My students were especially well-behaved when I shared that I didn't feel good and needed their help!  I love that about them!  One student was out of his seat - I called his name - reminded him that moving about the room was not one of the choices I gave.  He said, "I won't argue with you this time since you don't feel good."  I laughed.  I said, "I really wish you would demonstrate respect just because I'm your teacher - not just because I don't feel good."  It's a good-natured, high energy class.

So ... today I was supposed to teach the Laws of Exponents.  Since I didn't have my usual energy, and my stomach hurt ... I told students that I would give them a quick run-down on 5 Laws.  Then I would give them several choices.  I did just that ... I went through the 5 Laws of Exponents with just an example or two of each.  Students listened, and followed along.  Then they completed the required practice.

Their choices after the quick lesson and practice included ...

  • Watching videos from our textbook publisher to go over the laws again
  • Playing Manga High games that provide practice with exponents
  • Playing a Monomial War game in partners 
  • Reviewing the skill using their workbook
It was fascinating to watch which students chose specific activities.  I was surprised at the number of students who asked for their workbooks.  I had a few students choose the videos.  And many students chose either the monomial war game or the Manga High games.  All students worked 30 - 40 minutes independently and with partners on practice!  It was a positive day!

Since I teach on an A/B day schedule, I plan to use the same set-up tomorrow ... even though right now my stomach is better and I'm feeling like the bug has departed!

I'd love to structure lessons with less of my direct instruction and more choices for student practice!

Here is the Monomial War Activity and Answers used by several teachers in our school.  I don't know the original author of the activity:

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