Students were given choices for last week's homework. One of the options was to create a card or dice game about dividing decimals. Today, they are given time to play these games. This recognizes students as contributors to our learning community, creates a forum where they interact about math and feel pride in the product of their hard work.
Before the students start playing, I remind the class of the group work rules that we live by in our class.
• Everyone participates
• Take turns
• Be respectful
• Have fun
Students who created games have an opportunity to tell the class about the game they designed, then they can get right to playing.
After about 20 minutes of playing, I wrap up with a quick share about the games, and remind students they can play these games again during any indoor recess.
Each night the students have one math problem to solve for homework. Additionally, they have a weekly project based assignment to complete. Having one problem holds the students accountable for doing some math each night. The problems are often used to spiral back to concepts from earlier topics to help students stay fresh.
Since today is a revisiting day, I solve last night's math problem on the board. When I do, I intentionally make 3 mistakes. This starts a group discussion, which was my goal, about making mistakes and learning from them.
These mistakes are obvious to the students, because the problem uses basic facts.
1. Copy the problem wrong (add a decimal to one of the factors).
2. Make a fact error.
3. Place the decimal in the wrong place.
This sparks the discussion that being "close enough" isn't something that they should be ok with. I introduce the word precision and emphasize its importance in math.
I transition the conversation to bring up yesterday's ticket out.
Yesterday I gave you a great challenge question for the ticket out. I know it was tricky, but I wanted you to take a risk and try something. You did a great job. There were a lot of "not correct" answers, but your mistakes were great mistakes for us to learn from. I picked a few to discuss. Is there anyone who doesn't want me to share their wrong answer?
1/2 of 10 more than the number of wheels on w 18-wheelers.
I choose the following errors as examples to start this discussion
• dividing by .5 rather than 2
• adding 5 to the number of wheels
• those who did just 18w (to emphasize that they had a great starting point and even if you can't get it all right, it is important to try something.
The important part of this guided practice is to encourage students to talk about their errors rather than become embarrassed about them. Next, students work on correcting their work on a previous assessment. For peer conferences to work, the students have to be comfortable with talking about their mistakes and helping their peers find errors.
Students are given 5 quiet minutes to look at their work that has been corrected. When I correct student work, I only let them know whether they are correct or incorrect. Sometimes, I write a comment that can give them a little support in finding their errors, sometimes I don't.
After looking at their own work for 5 minutes, students may transition into partner work for a peer conference. Usually, I have students work with predetermined partners, but since they are correcting their own work today, I allow them to choose a partner.
Some samples of student work with corrections are provided.