## Communications Challenge Directions and Questions.docx - Section 2: Put it into Action

*Communications Challenge Directions and Questions.docx*

# What, Where, When, How

Lesson 2 of 4

## Objective: SWBAT explain the process of collaboration, and materials for Algebra ll.

#### Set the Stage

*20 min*

*You will need copies of the Math Tools Treasure Hunt challenge ready for this section. *I begin class with the desks in rows again, in part to get my students accustomed to rearranging the desks as needed. I tell them that for the first activity of the day they will be working with their left-shoulder partner, a reinforcement of what they learned about partners in yesterday's lesson. I ask them to group their desks accordingly, assisting as needed, then ask for the older partner in each team to be the team scribe. Sometimes I just let each team decide who does what but for this activity I wanted to establish a precedent so that leaving it up to them to choose becomes a privilege rather than expected. Otherwise I've noticed that the same people always seem to end up doing the writing, leaving half my students without much writing experience. I tell my students they have ten minutes to complete as much of the treasure hunt as possible and that I will give them a two-minute warning. I ask them to turn in their signed treasure hunt sheets as soon as they're done, since the first team done with the most correct answers wins a prize! (The prize is the privilege of choosing the next activity. I have two main goals with this activity; to familiarize my students with the locations of the tools and materials they will be using throughout the year and to give them a minimally stressful collaboration experience. That helps when they get to tougher math content challenges in future units.) As my students are moving around the room "hunting" I stay on the periphery observing and redirecting as needed. After 10 minutes or when everyone is done, I determine the winning team and ask them to choose the next challenge from the four listed below. If there is a tie, we flip a coin to see which team chooses first. I give a brief explanation of each activity before the winning team makes its choice.

**list of activities for winners to choose from:**

- calculators
- definitions
- communications
- organization

#### Resources

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#### Put it into Action

*30 min*

I have four different challenges that my students will work through, beginning with the challenge chosen by the winning treasure hunt team. Each challenge has a handout (see my resources) and none require any materials we have not already discussed. Before beginning the challenges, I ask if anyone has any questions about the tools and materials they found during the treasure hunt. I also remind my students about teamwork expectations; everyone participates and gives/receives respect. While my students are working on the challenges, I walk around giving encouragement and assistance as needed. My narrative discusses how this lesson incorporates math practices into learning class protocols and strategies.

The Calculator Challenge has teams competing simultaneously to complete problems quickly and accurately using the graphing calculator, mentally, or with paper and pencil. The focus of this challenge is to help students value the calculator as a tool, but also recognize its limitations. **(MP5, MP6)**

The Definitions Chalenge has partners working to identify terms they should be familiar with from previous mathematics classes, but which can also be found in their Algebra ll textbook. The focus of this challenge is to refresh student vocabularies while also reinforcing the textbook glossary as a resource. **(MP6)**

The Communications Challenge Directions and Questions has partners working to communicate accurately and precisely with one partner reading a set of equations or expressions and the other partner writing them down. The focus of this challenge is to demonstrate the importance of precision and accuracy in mathematics communication.** (MP3, MP6)**

The Organizing Challenge has partners collaborating to select and utilize graphic organizers to make sense of one of more sets of mathematical terms. The focus of this challenge is to help students learn to make connections between and among mathematical terms and concepts in ways that make sense to them. **(MP5, MP7) **Three graphic organizers I've used with this are "bubbles", "note taker" and "triple venn diagram".

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#### Wrap it Up

*5 min*

To close out this lesson, I ask my students to take a few moments to reflect on what resources they've learned about today. I tell them to spend the remainder of class putting all their math handouts in their binders and organizing those items that they will regularly reference. I have some students who do not have binders and/or prefer to stuff all their papers in their textbooks (or back pocekt). For those students who truly need a binder, I keep a supply available and often have students donate unusesd or lightly used binders, rulers, etc to my supply. If the issue is student choice, I try to reinforce the benefits of being organized and warn students that I will do regular "sweeps" of all textbooks to discard materials stashed there since it breaks down the binding. Ultimately I let them make the decision about whether or not to keep a notebook. These students are not freshmen, after all, and will need to be able to make responsible choices as adults.

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*Responding to Jennifer Pazirandeh*

Jennifer, thank you for your comments and question...I've just updated the lesson to include three of the graphic organizers I've used with this (and other) lessons. This site should eventually include links to our "strategy" folders which have all the things we use regularly, but until then I'm glad you asked about the organizers because otherwise I would have gone on assuming that you already had access. I also have a compare/contrast organizer and one I use mainly in science for observations, so my students actually have five general organizers plus blank, lined and graph paper to help keep them on track!

| 3 years ago | Reply

Merrie,

These challenges look like an excellent way to start the year! For the organizing challenge, do you have particular graphic organizers that you give them to choose from? I usually just give them a graphic organizer for the specific information of the day, but I like the idea of having a few standard ones available that students can choose from themselves.

Thank you for posting!

| 3 years ago | Reply

*Responding to Cris Sheffel*

Thanks for sharing your experience with my lesson...it gave me a grin as I considered the teachers' going through the Communications Challenge! I already use BetterLesson materials and lessons for the 7th grade math class I was given this year as well as for help on some of the language arts things we're trying to implement across the curriculum, which for me is math and science. Have fun exploring. :)

| 3 years ago | Reply

Merrie,

I was leading a professional learning with high school math teachers and I shared the Communications Challenge with them as a way to deepen their understanding and illustrate the importance of SMP 6 - Attend to Precision. This has been one of the best exercises I have seen or used for this purpose! Everyone clearly understood SMP 6 and had a great tool to use with students to help them see the importance. All the teachers truly enjoyed themselves and laughed **heartily** at their own mistakes! Thanks for posting - I can't wait to explore BetterLesson more thoroughly!

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- UNIT 1: First Week!
- UNIT 2: Algebraic Arithmetic
- UNIT 3: Algebraic Structure
- UNIT 4: Complex Numbers
- UNIT 5: Creating Algebraically
- UNIT 6: Algebraic Reasoning
- UNIT 7: Building Functions
- UNIT 8: Interpreting Functions
- UNIT 9: Intro to Trig
- UNIT 10: Trigonometric Functions
- UNIT 11: Statistics
- UNIT 12: Probability
- UNIT 13: Semester 2 Review
- UNIT 14: Games
- UNIT 15: Semester 1 Review