## Wednesday, April 8, 2009

### 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.

Kate Nowak said...

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...?

David Cox said...

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.

Kate Nowak said...

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. :-)

David Cox said...

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.

Andy Shores said...

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?

David Cox said...

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.

AlgebraJoe said...

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.