Throughout the year, I have my students complete "WPP's" (yes, another acronym!). That stands for "Word Problem Poster".
See my instructional samples here and here, grading rubric here.
Basically, for every type of word problem we learn about throughout the year, students have to:
1. Write their own story problem, create their own numbers, etc
2. Solve the problem, showing all steps and explaining clearly.
3. Put it together neatly on a poster with images to go along with the story.
4. Trade it with a partner to solve and score (must show own work on back of rubric)
Students are encouraged to "keep the storyline" throughout the year (they do 13-14 of them total) and have fun with it. I love seeing the creativity come out.
I think it's a great activity because:
1. Students are required to actually write their own problem, forcing them to think critically about the important information needed in the problem as well as how to state it clearly and correctly.
2. Students are able to be creative and have some fun in math!
3. Students get double the practice because they write and solve their own, then read and solve a classmate's.
Okay, so what is my new brilliant idea??
1. Image/Introductory step (they can find an image online, draw a picture, or record a quick clip of something that corresponds to the story problem)
2. Explanation of the problem step (they will type up the details of the problem on a word document...thinking about if I want this just typed or if I want them to have to read it out loud as well? Don't know of an audio-only recording site since I don't do that...Could the audio and the text be embedded on the same step? hmmm ideas...)
3. Video explanation of the solution step (they will explain the solution to the problem either by using an iPad screen recording app, their digital or cell phone camera, or another device... maybe teaching them to use Jing or Screen-casto-matic?? We'll see...)
It would be a little something like this (but much more creative, this is my quick-put together of instructions)
Then, students can go online and pick a classmate's (or even more than one!) WPP to solve... I guess this would be on "paper" - I'll have to think about it a little more. They can add comments to the steps on the playlists if something is unclear or if something is incorrect.
Benefits I can see:
1. Much more paperless than before! Students have a digital record of their work and it is much easier to modify because they just have to re-upload.
2. Sometimes when students would "trade and grade", one poster was never turned in because the partner would lose it or forget about it... now they are all online!
3. I can actually read through all of the problems on my own time (normally it was solely a peer-graded activity and I would glance through some of them) without having to lug home the posters.
4. I (or students) can comment on each individual step of the playlist to say what we like, what needs clarification, etc.
5. I can hear my students explain their work, which not only helps THEM to have to talk through it, but helps me see where they are making misconceptions.
I thought about this idea about 10 minutes ago, so it's still a work in progress.