Tying a Bow on Unit 4 (Review Day 2 of 2)

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SWBAT review and reflect upon the work we've done in Unit 4 as they submit the Spending & Saving Project and prepare for tomorrow's unit exam.

Big Idea

Students have a variety of options for how they engage in today's work, which lends the classroom an upbeat workshop vibe.

Opener: Some Graphing Stories

10 minutes

To finish Unit 4, I use today's opener to take students back to our work with Graphing Stories, a little more three weeks ago.  I post this blank "distance from home"graph, and simply ask for any volunteers to come up and tell us a story.  I love how, at this point in the year, I can pose such an informal prompt, stand against the back wall of my room, and let it work.

Here's what happens.  A volunteer comes to the board and sketches a graph that may or may not resemble one we've worked with previously.  When they're done drawing, I request that they tell the story of their graph.  Then I tell everyone to listen closely: "If you hear anything that doesn't make sense, please don't let anyone get away with it," I say.  Usually, we'll revisit some of the situations that we saw earlier in the unit.  Sometimes, a student will remind of us of some of the impossible graphs we've seen.  Often, someone will make us laugh.  Almost always, more volunteers are eager to share a story.  If this activity has legs, I'll let the class run with it for a little while.

I try to ensure that we discuss some key features of a graph, without making that feel like the point.  I want to be sure that students are fluent in the difference between increasing and decreasing graphs, that they can interpret the relative steepness of a line, that they recognize both x and y intercepts, and that they recognize differences between curves and straight lines.  I want students to feel like they've learned a lot in the last few weeks, and when I hear them expressing the sorts of fluent ideas that I'm writing about here, I say that I'm impressed and I encourage students to acknowledge their new talents.

After a few minutes, I distribute work folders, as the conversations continue.  When we're done with this opener, we'll use these folders for the rest of the day.

Project Submission

3 minutes

The Spending & Saving Project is due today, and that's the first purpose of the work folders that I distributed during the opener.  Students should gather all parts of the project, and make an ordered stack with Part 1 in the front and Part 3 in the back.  The cover sheet and rubric should be placed on top, and the a paper clip (not staple - we need to able to take things apart again!) should hold everything together.  At the bottom of the cover sheet, there's a brief reflection prompt: 

In ten years, what will you remember about this project?

Some students write about the math when they respond, and others mention the financial topics.  Either way, I like to have these little snapshots of what kids are taking away from these two weeks of work.  When that's done, students should place the packet in the their work folder.

Some students will want to spend some time working on the project today, and if that's the case, I give them that time.  You can learn about the project by looking at the seven lessons preceding this one.

Cheat Sheets, Gallery Walk, Work Folders...

30 minutes

Options for Study

As I laid out for them yesterday, students have a few options today.  They can prepare for the exam by looking at old work in the work folders, they can prepare cheat sheets, or they can work through a gallery walk that's posted around the room.  My role is to meet them where they are, I encourage students to see connections between these three options.  For example, if they're not sure what to write on a cheat sheet, then the work folder or the gallery walk can help.

Use Your Work Folder

The work folder serves two purposes today.  The first is that this where students will submit their projects.  Additionally, I show students how to review prior work as a study strategy.  By looking at the work they've done on Unit 4 learning targets, students can recall experiences and key take-aways.  I point students to their sequences gallery walk and the graphing stories from a few weeks earlier as great places to start.

Make a Cheat Sheet

By now, many of my students have embraced the idea of a cheat sheet, and they understand it as a study strategy rather than just an end-product that will help while they take the exam.  I don't spend too much time on this today, but I remind them that one way to make a great sheet is to start from the learning targets.  By dedicating some space to each of the four Unit 4 SLTs, kids can plan how and what they're going to study.

Complete the Gallery Walk

Posted around the room are the pages of this Gallery Walk.  Most of the pages are graphs, but three are tables.  Students should be able to write the algebraic rule for each of these, and practice on that is a great way to study.  I find that using a gallery walk helps to break the monotony of worksheets, and it makes the assignment more flexible and easier to differentiate.  If I know that students need to practice writing the equation for a line, I can send them to one wall of the classroom.  If I want to see how they handle a graph with a y-axis that counts by numbers greater than 1, I have a few examples ready for that.  There are exponential curves and tables representing exponential functions as well.  Differentiation is as easy as pointing students in different directions.