Friday, October 30, 2009

Changing Seats and Interview Questions

I have my students change seats every chapter. I often have my students work in pairs throughout the class. So this change of seats is really a change of class partners. This change of seats and change of partners typically occurs on the first day after a test. We change seats and then I have the new partners interview each other. I just make up random questions for the students to ask each other. After they interview each other, I pick students at random to and ask them to introduce their partner, and then answer one of the questions from the interview. It does take a little time out of my class, however, I believe it is well worth while to create this type of community team spirit.

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS and Changing Seats Directions (I give my students these)
We will change seats every chapter.
The purpose of Interview Questions is to get you to know your partner a little bit before you work with them on Math.
You do not need to write them out. However, you might be asked to share part of your interview with the rest of the class.
Students will be picked at random to share their interview with the rest of the class. Remember, to introduce your partner first, and then answer the question that we are on.

Interview Questions
1. What is your name?
2. What are your activities and interests?
3. What extreme sport or activity are you most afraid of? (like 1/2 pipe snowboarding) Why?
4. What former president (living or not) would you like to have a conversation with?
5. Rank the following restaurants from best to worst: Outback, On the Border, Mongolian BBQ and Maggiano's.
6. What insect do you like the most, and hate the most? Why?
7. Without giving a name of a person, give a few positive traits that you admire in someone.
8. Tell about your pets and their names.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Using Flip Videos to help students teach students

We used the class set of Flip Videos last week. It worked out well. The students worked in pairs and solved a word problem from the section we were on. It was actually a homework problem. We have desks that can be written on. So the pair of students wrote some key information about the problem on the desks with their whiteboard makers. Then, they each explained how to do part of the problem. They watched what they did and if it wasn't good, they redid the problem. If they liked what they did, they gave me back the Flip Video and I downloaded the video to my computer. I then put the videos on YouTube and linked them to my site. Students then could watch the different problems from home with the added benefit of stopping and rewinding the video if they needed to.
The rules were simple. 1. Make sure your problem is correct before you explain it. 2. All people in the group must take a turn in explaining how to do the problem. 3. It must be 3 minutes or less in length. 4. You must do the video in one take, so plan out what you want to say. 5. Lastly, have fun.
See the video for an example.

Here is the link to other Flip Video Problems

How have you used Flip Video's in your class?