Saturday, September 7, 2013

Teamwork In Math

Earlier this week, I used my Rounding Practice Snowball Fight game to kick off our rounding unit. This game contains preprinted numbers with a specific place underlined. Having a rounding snowball fight is a fun way for me to pre-assess my students. After a 1 minute snowball fight, students one by one open their snowballs and round the number on it to the underline place. On my clipboard, I marked a + by a student’s name if they answered correctly or a – if they answered incorrectly. I use this information to decide which students need to come back to my small group table.

Because my students kept begging to play again, Friday I decided to take the last 10 minutes of class to have another snowball fight. After 1 minute snowball fight, I asked each student to pick up one snowball. I explained that I wanted them to order themselves (the whole class) from least to greatest using the numbers on their snowballs. I challenged them to complete the task in 3 minutes. I told them they would be able to have another 1 minute snowball fight if they completed the task in time.

I sat back and watched as my students attempted this challenge. It was so cool to see leaders pop up in each class to help organize the others. Three out of four of my math classes were not able to arrange themselves in order in time. For these classes, we discussed what they could have done differently to be successful. This turned out to be the BEST discussion. I am definitely adding this to my MUST do every year as teamwork and cooperation lesson. The class that did complete the challenge was so proud of themselves. After their additional reward snowball fight, we discussed why they thought they were successful.

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