Reflection: Student Ownership Magic Witch Hats - Section 2: Seating Activity


This sort of activity helps my students learn to turn to each other rather than relying too heavily on the teacher. One of my goals for them is to realize that they and their peers are valuable sources of information. Doing this type of seating activity regularly throughout the year can help me assess their progress. 

In the beginning my students mob around me trying to get my help or my verification. I consistently turn them away. I give these directions:

  • Ask one of your math 'brothers and sisters' to help you.
  • Find the table to which you think you belong and ask someone already seated there.
  • If you are already seated, look for people who are still looking and help them.

As the year goes on I hope that fewer and fewer students come to me for help. This is a really good measure of how they are progressing in that goal.

One thing that always happens is that someone will sit at the wrong group. One of two things usually happens in this case:

  • When a student (who is still looking for their seat) sees that a group is 'full' they won't bother checking that table. 
  • A disagreement arises when a student discovers the group they belong to is full.

This situation does require some intervention early on:

  • I may go to the group and have them all put their cards down and look for the one that doesn't belong. 
  • I may ask if anyone is unsure whether or not they belong.
  • I may ask each person to convince us they belong.
  • I may ask the groups who are still missing members what their number is and then ask the group in conflict if one of them might belong in the other group.

  Teaching peer reliance
  Student Ownership: Teaching peer reliance
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Magic Witch Hats

Unit 4: Operations with Integers
Lesson 17 of 24

Objective: SWBAT add the opposite instead of subtracting integers.

Big Idea: Students will understand that subtracting is like "canceling out".

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2 teachers like this lesson
Math, Number Sense and Operations, Operations and Expressions, subtracting integers, Additive inverse, halloween, student ownership
  54 minutes
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