To start class discussion, I choose a few examples from the exit tickets from the previous lesson, Angle Vocabulary Introduction. At the end of that lesson, students identified at least one vocabulary word from the list of angle vocabulary of which they had better understanding from their classwork. I look for examples that have a strong explanation of what students know, what they may not have known, or affirmation of something they already understood. The examples stimulate discussion to highlight what students understand and where there may still be some confusion.
In class today, students have an opportunity to apply their knowledge of the concept vocabulary. Students create a set of real-world word problems using the vocabulary. They cannot use simple computation problems.
I ask each student to write a set of at least 5 problems, using as many of the vocabulary terms as possible while keeping the problem realistic and relevant. Students also generate a set of corresponding solutions for the problems to use as a key. They should keep the solutions separate from the problems so they can exchange problems.
Sample problems my students have created in the past include streets that meet to form a right angle, street intersections that form vertical angles, and the numbers of degrees traveled if someone walks or drives around a full block.
Once students finish creating their problems and key, they pair with a partner and trade problem sets. I give students time to solve each other’s problems. Then, I ask students to review the solutions and to discuss the problem-solving process.
When they finish, I ask each pair of students to join one other pair to form a group of four. Each group of four exchanges problems to solve. Then, they review solutions and discuss problem-solving strategies and the solutions as a larger group. In this activity, I want students to be exposed to different types of problems and thinking. I also want them to discuss what they did to solve the problems and why they used certain strategies.
To end class, I use a “traffic light strategy” to gauge student understanding after this mini vocabulary unit. I provide each student with a sticky note or small square of paper on which to record their reflections. In a traffic light strategy, students can use green to indicate confidence in their understanding, yellow to indicate partial understanding, and red to indicate little to no understanding. To help my students reflect and categorize, I ask them to consider how they feel about learning, studying, and applying the vocabulary. I ask if they feel like they understand and can use the vocabulary. On the sticky note, students can tell me where they are and/or write a message to me about where the confusion may lie.
I can gather the sticky notes and scan students’ traffic lights. Then, I respond to their feedback as a whole class or individually. I ask what they need to know, see, hear, or do to get them from a yellow or red light to a green light.