Thursday, August 25, 2016

Survival in the Desert (Days 8-9)

Here is today's Blaugust topic:

25. What are your go to quotes?

Back in my Father's Day post, I mentioned the quote "If you don't know the answer, at least know where to find it." I consider it to be part of my classroom motto.

I've also quoted the famous MTBoS blogger Sarah Carter, especially with regards to her three function-related mnemonics (Slope Dude, DIX-ROY, and HOY-VUX). She explains these three at the following link:

Actually, according to the following more recent link, DIX-ROY should be DIXI-ROYD, with the extra I and D standing for "independent variable" and "dependent variable":

I probably should use Carter's DIXI-ROYD now, especially since "dependent variable" showed up in one of my eighth grade Benchmark Testing Week questions.

Speaking of which, my students have finished their Benchmark Tests. And so I have two extra days left over for special activities before lessons start in earnest next week. I decided that I wanted some science to break up the math testing, and so I decided to right back to Sarah Carter, especially since now she's teaching science in addition to math:

As for my physical science class, I had to plan an entirely different lesson for Day 1 since almost all of my physical science students are also enrolled in one of my math classes.  

We started the "Survival in the Desert" activity from Kagan's Cooperative Learning book (affiliate link).  Though, a search for this activity on google shows that it is included in numerous books.

I won't post the link to the activity, since you can get it right from Carter's website.

This activity goes well in my eighth grade class -- maybe because it's the smallest class. I divide my 14 students into three groups of four and one group of two. I definitely enjoy the discussions among the groups as they decide which items they wish to rank higher.

The activity doesn't work as well in the larger sixth and seventh grade classes. Many students are loud and fail to listen to my instructions -- which would not be terrible if they follow the steps given on Carter's worksheet, but of course they don't. Common errors include labeling almost every item on the list "1" or "14." Then when I try to explain that they must rank the items, they just go in order, labeling the pistol "1" just because it's first on the list, the animal book "2" because it's the second item, and so on.

Meanwhile, I'll only play Fraction Fever if the students show that they can handle it. Otherwise, I may just convert it into a worksheet. There's also a possibility that our dean will have to come in to speak to my eighth graders.

Fraction Fever is also the inspiration for today's song. I made up the lyrics, but the tune is the intro song from the actual 1980's game (to the best of my memory):

Fraction Fever:

Hey, if you never
Played Fraction Fever
To get in the action
You gotta get the right fraction!

Choose the wrong one and down you fall
(Down you fall!)
Through the hole and that's not all!
(That's not all!)

If you find the right one later
(Right one later!)
You'll go up in the elevator!

When you get to Floor 20
(Floor 20!)
You'll win plenty!

Fraction! Fever!
Fraction! Fever!

My next post will be Monday, August 29th.

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