Yesterday I started the class by asking the groups (random, as per usual) to draw a picture summarizing everything they know thus far about Linear Relations. This worked quite well. Here's a sample of the student work:
My second goal for this lesson was to cover section 1.1 (Linear Relations in Tables and Graphs) in the workbook. I gave the groups a problem from the end of the lesson that required students to:
- Create a graph from a table of values
- State whether the relation is linear or not
- Determine the slope and describe what it represents
- Extend the graph to the y-axis, state the y-intercept, and state what it represents
Note that I didn't teach slope or y-intercept, however enough students remembered these terms from previous classes that I didn't have to tell anyone. The groups shared their knowledge.
The problem was done well by all groups, then I referred to definitions and descriptions on 3 different pages in the workbook.
Finally I had them graph the relation and tell me if it was linear or not.
So now I see a pattern emerging that works well for me:
- Identify the lesson that deals with the material I want to cover
- Put students in random groups and give them a problem from the end of the workbook lesson, without any initial teaching. This problem typically takes 30 - 50 minutes
- When students have difficulties, refer them to other groups that didn't have that difficulty
- When most groups get to a similar stage of solving the problem (hopefully correct, given prompting by me and other groups), discuss the features (good and bad) I see among the different groups' work
- If there are definitions / descriptions in their workbook, pull those pages up on the projector and refer to them
- Tell students to take one of the groups' work and any annotations I've made, and write down "whatever you need to remember this material"