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Copying Lines

For all of their hatred of numbers in their various forms, kids really struggle with graphing. Something I tried this year, and will expand on next year, is to just have them copy graphed lines off of my slide onto their xeroxed worksheet of grids.

As I went around, I gave a running count of what percentage of the class copied the line correctly. I pointedly ignored their queries of whether they were right or not. They had to go to their friends, and figure out what was up.

There were no numbers, no calculations. But they spent the whole period engaged and figuring out how to look at a line and its relation to the coordinate axes.

{ 3 } Comments

  1. Ian | November 14, 2008 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    I love the process of:

    1. Putting a question on the screen.
    2. Announcing that they only have 2 minutes to answer.
    3. Walking around announcing the number of correct answers you’ve seen, without acknowledging whether or not any specific student is correct.

    Oddly enough, it really gets the students working and engaged in the problem, no matter how dull the problem. A couple times a week I do it with CST released questions. All it takes is a quick glance at a letter to know if they’re correct.

  2. N.D | November 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    That is really interesting. I like the idea. I wonder how many you got through and how you assessed at the end how it helped them. Nice job.

  3. Mrs. H | November 19, 2008 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I love this idea! I wish I hadn’t already spent 3 weeks on graphing!

    Mrs. H