Friday, November 7, 2014

NaBloPoMo #6: Review Day & Self-Directed Study

Today we are reviewing our short unit on characteristics of quadratics.  I like the quadratic work because of the interesting connections we make in class.  Yesterday students spent just a few minutes with a punted football, a blob jump in Switzerland, and with Javert as he was falling off a bridge in Les Mis.  We also did typical textbook problems using a helicopter carrying water to a fire, the launching of a rocket, throwing a ball off of a building (why?), and cost vs revenue.

The one struggle I continue to see is using the calculator well.  Obviously if we were all using Desmos the problem would not be so difficult.  But students have trouble finding a good window for their equations.  When I demonstrate that skill I use a "think aloud" strategy.  But some students are needing more practice.

Today I have structured our review to be a kind of self-service model.  I put together several helps for students in a slideshow.  They will have their class notes, class practice activities, a hard-copy test review, laptops and the slideshow.  Students will work together to review for the test.  So I'm transforming my room as a "study station."  I plan to set up a small group teaching area where students can come to me for just-in-time instruction.

Hopefully this 90 minutes of study will help them identify their strengths, and areas to strengthen before Tuesday's test.

I've tried various review routines ... with OK success.  I'm hoping to instill in students more confidence in self-directed learning through this review model.

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