I have attached the strategies folder video narrative Critical Friends Protocol as a resource for this lesson. Typically speaking, I like to run critical friends AFTER a problem or project. However, in this instance, I like to give the students 10 minutes to share their probability game idea with their peers – and critical friends is a great protocol to use to make this happen. During the sharing process, the students might just get an idea or two from another group that could help shape their game as the develop it. The process also forces the kids to talk about the probabilities that exist in the games, using specific-well defined terminology such as mutually exclusive, depended, independent, etc (MP3) To keep the activity short, I quickly pair up groups and have them share what they are doing. Each group has 4 minutes to present their proposals.
Looking for a great way to get the students going, without taking too much work time away from them? Try running a shortened version of critical friends!
Any time that you enter into the final work day of a project, there is the potential for chaos. Not only do the students have a lot to do, but the class is also likely all at very different stages of their work. Many students will be finished with their probability calculations, and in the process of making their game. Other students will still be muddling through the probabilities (needing a lot of support with MP4) without even touching their homework assignment or creating the first aspect of their game. Because of these different positions, I have the students submit to me a brief plan for tomorrow with any pressing workshop requests. TOMORROW IS THE LAST IN CLASS DAY TO WORK ON THE PROJECT. Additionally, the homework assignment is due by the end of class tomorrow. This allows the kids the opportunity to ask questions for one more day, while continuing to work with their partner on their probability game.
Larger projects like these are great for students because they must have an organized approach, collaborate with their peers, and take ownership over their own learning by requesting workshops. By no means do I run my class like this all of the time, but I like putting students in situations where they are stretched to grow in new and lasting ways.