Students enter silently and find another “Sprint" on their desks. This assessmnet includes 25 questions to be completed in 1.5 minutes. All 25 questions require students to memorize benchmark fractions’ decimal equivalent. At the end of one minute, students who raise their hand to indicate they’re finished will have their paper stamped and collected for grading. Students who answer all problems correctly earn a homework pass. All answers are reviewed as a class. I will state the first five answers and then call on students for the next 20. If a student does not know the answer I will have them calculate it on their paper with long division while I have other students call out the answers in the rest of that row. Then I will come back to the student who calculated the answer to ask again. Students who are getting all answers correct can convert on more rigorous fractions posted in the room on chart paper (i.e. 3.5/7).
After an improved performance in the skill problems yesterday students are congratulated and informed that they will be moving on to additional applications of word problems. Today, we will focus on attending to precision when evaluating numeric and algebraic expressions, as well as identifying operations in different word problems and modeling on a number line.
For example, we will discuss the types of questions that require evaluating all of the possibilities in a given multiple choice question. The last question under #1 and #5 are questions that exemplify this strategy. Students will need to carefully check their work to accurately evaluate each choice. This requires attention to detail and hard work; students cannot give up or rush. Thus, they are practicing MP1, making sense of problems and persevering to solve them.
Using Tuesday’s clicker results to the problem solving task, I organize students into homogenous groups of 5-6.Those who scored below 75% correct will sit close to me in the first row and two other groups sit behind them. An additional small group of high scoring students sits in booths. Groups are provided white boards, dry erase markers, red/blue counter chips, and plastic number lines to use in their discussions about the solutions to different word problems. The number lines for example, can help students order the numbers in the table for #1 along the decimal or fraction number lines included in the pack.
MP5: I will be using these tools to guide the two lower groups through most of the problems. I will ask students to independently work on arithmetic steps such as conversions to decimals or subtraction/addition problems. During these independent practice chunks of time, I can provide individual help to students on specific gaps in skills, again, using or asking teammates to use the tools to explain.
All students must also enter their answer into clickers, providing me with an opportunity to analyze data and create a plan.
Clicker assessment is stopped and least mastered questions are reviewed; many mistakes will likely be due to students’ attention to precision in calculations, as this has been the issue in observed work this week. Student briefly discuss strategies for genuinely checking work (i.e. show the work twice, using properties of math to solve two different ways). For example, if we want to check the answer for choice A in #5
7/9 + (–1)/9 – 7/9
we could use the commutative property to cancel out 7/9 and –7/9, leaving us with the answer –1/9. We could also work from left to write to find the same answer:
7/9 + (–1)/9 – 7/9 = 6/9 – 7/9 = –1/9.
At the end, homework is distributed and students are advised that it will be graded. Students are also advised that they can use the “additional problems” at the end of their “Task” to study for tomorrow’s quiz.