Day 3 - A Pattern Emerges

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 A = \pi r^2 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"

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