Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Partner Problems

Today in class the students were graphing linear equations in standard form.  Some students have been absent for yesterday's lesson, and other students struggle to convert equations from standard form to slope-intercept form.  You know how overwhelming it can be to have to go around the room student-by-student and help them with problems, that's why I don't do it anymore.

I have each student's name written on an index card, I shuffle the cards, then randomly pair the students by picking two cards at a time.  If there is an odd amount of students I will create one group of three.  I have two different worksheets: One paper has problems on the front for the first student and the answers are on the back for the second student; the other worksheet has problems on the front for the second student and answers on the back for the first student.

I instruct the students to have one student do one problem at a time.  Student A will complete problem 1 while Student B makes sure he is doing it correctly by using the answer key on the back of his paper.  Then both students flip over their papers and Student 2 completes problem 1 on their paper while Students 2 monitors.

I like this activity for a few reasons:


  1. The students really end up doing twice as many problems.  Half on paper and half while watching their partner.  
  2. The students learn from their partner's mistakes.  
  3. The students help each other.  Rather than sitting their idol waiting for me to help them, they are asking each other for assistance.
  4. They are forced to work with new people.  At the end of the lesson I asked the students to respond to my prompt poster.  Quite a few mentioned that they enjoyed working with someone new.  


I have a habit of using math-aids.com to generate worksheets. They look clean, provide answer keys, and generate a different sheet each time.






2 comments:

  1. This sounds like a pretty cool idea, I may have to try it out. As an aside, I HIGHLY recommend Kuta Software, https://www.kutasoftware.com/ for worksheet generation. It isn't free, but is reasonably priced for a site license. I only looked briefly at math-aids.com, but they don't seem nearly as flexible as the worksheets generated by Kuta.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "One paper has problems on the front for the first student and the answers are on the back for the second student; the other worksheet has problems on the front for the second student and answers on the back for the first student. " This phrase makes all the difference for this activity. I tried something similar last year, but every student had the same worksheet and answers. As you could probably predict, the activity quickly devolved into students working by themselves and just flipping their pages to check answers. Your method is much more effective. Thanks for sharing Nora!

    ReplyDelete