The Easter Egg Hunt

Every nine weeks my district gives benchmark exams covering approximately one-third of the standards that have been deemed “essential.”  Many teachers feel the need to do a bunch of last minute cramming and do intensive review.  For the most part, I see the benchmark as a speedbump; one of those things that I have to do.  I mean, I we already have department CFAs (common formative assessments) that we use to re-direct our instruction, so I pretty much already know where my kids stand.  So for the last benchmark of the year, I decided to change up the review.

I made up a practice test covering the standards that would be assessed, uploaded it to voicethread and had students sign up to create a mathcast for specific problems.  However, this time they were looking for a fastball up and in and I gave them a change away. I asked a few students to do the problems incorrectly (of course, first they had to demonstrate to me that they could do the problem right.) Once everyone had added their comments to the Voicethread, I assigned the Easter Egg Hunt–Which ones are wrong and why? I think I really like this activity. Students not only have to work out each problem themselves, but they have to view another’s work critically. I would love to hear what you think.


10 Responses to “The Easter Egg Hunt”

  1. 1 Kate Nowak April 9, 2009 at 12:03 am

    I think it’s a great idea. How are your students having so much computer access to create and view mathcasts? Are you a 1:1 school, or did you do this in a computer lab…?

  2. 2 David Cox April 9, 2009 at 1:09 am

    I have a laptop cart in my room. It is supposed to be shared with another teacher, but I am pretty much the only one who uses it. So I guess I would say that in my room, yeah, we are 1:1. I now have a class set of tablets for kids to write and we just installed the Smart software on all the computers. I am looking forward to seeing what these kids can do.

    BTW, I like what you did with Dan’s stuff. I had my kids work on it yesterday and will be posting soon. I really appreciate your blog.

  3. 3 Kate Nowak April 9, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Ah ha – lucky. I have to share a cart with 12 other teachers.

    I’m doing the parabola ball throwing thing tomorrow. Last 2 periods before spring break. It better be DARNED engaging. 🙂

  4. 4 David Cox April 9, 2009 at 2:33 am

    How are you going to present it to them? As I write this, I kid you not, there are 8th graders showing how they calculated horizontal velocity, vertical velocity and actual velocity. They calculated that Dan is about 6’5″ tall. The distance the ball traveled about 53′ and reached a height of 15’10”. All because I have a trash can in my room that looks like the one that Dan threw the ball into. Can’t wait to post this one.

  5. 5 Andy Shores April 24, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Great activity. I’m curious about the use of technology here. Do you think a similar activity would work as well if you went with a low tech option? Do you think there is a particular advantage to using computers over just copying student work together and having students search for the incorrect solutions on paper?

  6. 6 David Cox April 24, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Hi Andy,
    I suppose that the activity would work just fine using low tech. The thing I like about using the Voicethread and/or mathcasts is that the students go through the whole solution process rather than just jump to the final answer and check the answer of their peers against their own. So the advantage goes to the computer in that one can actully see and hear the process in real time. Hope that answers your question.

  7. 7 AlgebraJoe May 24, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Great idea, not important whether low tech or high tech. People make mistakes in the real world, and searching for the mistakes is important to do. Checking solutions for wrong results should be an important goal for Mathematics courses.

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