The goal of today's lesson is to help students prepare for the computational problems on the upcoming unit test. Through the activities in this class, students practice calculating and using multiple equations as well as explaining to other students how to complete problems. To begin class, I ask students to take out their Unit 2 Review Sheet that I passed out in the previous class. If they have any questions, I dedicate about 10 minutes for students to ask questions that they have about the problems on the review sheet, using Review Sheet KEY. I do this so that students working on the review sheet outside of class have an opportunity to ask questions. I want them to be able to ask questions about how to complete the problems if they became stuck on any problems.
After students have finished asking questions about the review sheet, I introduce the Inner Outer Circle Activity to review uniform acceleration. This is the first time the students are doing the cooperative learning inner outer circle activity. I begin by explaining what students will do throughout the activity: each student receives a card with a problem on it that also has the answer on the back. Each student then solves the problem and checks his or her answer to the answer on the back. Since the answers are on the back I expect my students to show all of their work.
Before I pass out the problem cards, I pass out a blank sheet of paper to each student. I ask them to fold it in half, the "hot dog" way. Then I ask them to unfold it and fold it twice the "hamburger" way so that when unfolded there are 8 boxes, as shown below:
Then I ask them to put their name in 1 box. After their papers are folded, I pass out a problem to each student. The problems are labeled as numbers and letters that help to organize students later in the activity. There are easy, medium and hard questions randomly throughout the lettered and numbered problem cards. I make sure to give each student a problem that is the appropriate level of difficulty based on how they have been doing in class.
Once each student has a problem I tell the students where to sit. I have A and 1 sit at the same table across from each other. Similarly, I have B and 2, C and 3, etc. sit across from each other. When all students are sitting across from their partner, I tell them that each pair has a similar problem in which they use the same equation. Each student needs to complete his or her own problem, but if he or she needs help or gets the wrong answer he or she can ask the partner to help. I give pairs 3 minutes to complete their problem. Afterwards, I remind them that they are now experts on their problem and will be carrying their problem with them throughout the activity.
After the 3 minutes, I ask the lettered card holders to stay seated and the numbers to rotate to the next table in a circle. When they get to their new partner, I ask them to switch cards with their partner and do their partner's problem. If they need help, they can ask the person sitting across from them because this person is now an expert on that problem. Students get 3 minutes to complete the new problem. When they are done, they switch problems so they are holding their original problem. Then the numbers once again rotate to the next table. Students continue to rotate every 3 minutes until the end of the period. A student's page would look something like the Inner Outer Circle Student Work.
As students work through the problems, I walk around to monitor their progress and to keep them focused on their work. I use this activity because it holds students accountable for explaining their thought processes to other students. It also allows students to complete problems using various equations. I like this activity because students rely on each other and also get a lot of practice with problems for an entire period.