The purpose of this group time, of course, is to give students a chance to get some help on the problems they’ve forgotten how to do. Since this is review, I expect that in most cases, individual students won’t need anything more than a quick reminder. I suppose I could just walk around and help each student one-on-one, but I think it’s important students to have the chance to teach and learn from one another (MP3). It also frees me up to help the ones who really need it most.
At the beginning of this group time, I pick out six students to put their solutions on the board for discussion. This usually takes about 5 minutes, so once their solutions are ready I call an end to the group time.
Now it’s time to put a fresh set of six problems up. These should not address exactly the same concepts as the previous six (unless there’s something that your students really need extra practice with), but should again contain a healthy balance of things they’re good at and things they still struggle with.
The cycle of individual time – group time – student solutions gets repeated here, but it has to be compressed quite a bit so that solutions to all six problems can be written down on the board with at least 5 minutes left of class. It really comes down to your judgment as a teacher, but I will skip the individual time on this set of problems, and almost as soon as I see that a student has solved a particular problem I will ask that student to record his or her solution on the board. When other students have trouble with that problem, I’ll refer them either to the solution on the board, or to the student another student who has solved it.
Class will end with the reminder that the final review packet is due at the end of class tomorrow and that I’m available during study hall for extra help.