Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Getting students to talk about math...

My Flipped Class always begins with a little "WSQing" (my self-made verb for students sitting in groups talking about their summaries, questions, etc from the previous night's lesson).  It has worked fairly well thus far this semester, but students tend to get off track easily, some groups talk for a minute and say they are done, etc.

So, this week I am trying something new:

Set the timer for 5 minutes.
Students have to talk about the math and only the math for the whole five minute period.  They can share important points, answers to guided questions, ask their own questions and get them answered, etc.  If the timer is still going, they can review the examples from the video last night.

So far, from what I've seen:
It's a lot more focused, and the students have a "goal" to meet (talk for five minutes and then they can move on), so they are more motivated.

Day 1 (Monday): Some groups filled the whole time, some groups stopped with about 2 minutes to go but had to find more questions or things to talk about from the video the previous night.  The timer rang and they were like "whew... that felt so long!"

Day 2 (Tuesday): Students already knew what to do, and it's only day 2! The time rang and several groups were like "no!!! we're not done yet!" - That made me smile :)

update Day 3 (Wednesday): Students who normally would blow off the "talk time" were actively engaged in discussing the material.  It helped that the content was pretty tough and needed clarification :)

Just one more change I'm implementing in my flipped class.

If I try this with my Algebra 1's, I think I'll start with 2 minutes. Maybe 3. Gotta start somewhere!

How do you structure "talk time" in your Flipped Class?

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