Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Easter Egg

Gotta thank Kate for introducing me to the Row Game.  I also like the idea of using as a way for teachers to upload and share them.  But, me being me, I couldn't leave well enough alone.  I like the fact that these activities are self checking and that if students find that they have different answers, then there is a mistake.  The problem with that is if I create two sets of 10 problems, I would like my students to work as many of them as possible. 

So I introduced the "Easter Egg."  I have used this concept in the past when doing test review.  Basically, I hide wrong answers so students need are a little more alert when looking at the solution to a problem. 

How does this work for row games?  Well, in the row game, if the partners have different answers, then someone messed up.  This opens the door for discussion.  But what if they never disagree?  Then there was no real need to discuss anything.  With the Easter Egg, I will make a couple of the problems diverge, that way agreement doesn't necessarily equal correctness.  Now they have to talk even if they get the same answer. 

Today I rolled out this row game on slope with my 7th graders.  Once they got used to the concept, the did pretty well.  I look forward to doing more of these. 

I don't know, maybe this defeats the purpose of the row game.  Maybe not.  What say you?


Matt Townsley said...

Looks like a great activity, David. Now that you and Kate have posted so many times (relatively speaking) about these row game activities, I think I'll give it a try. I like the idea in theory, but wonder if it's really much different than just posting the answers? What I mean by this is...if Students A and B are working together and B thinks A is "smarter" then won't B just use A's answer and work backwards (or do whatever students do when provided the answer)? I'm not trying to discount this idea at all, David, because it's beyond what I've attempted to do myself up to this point. Just trying to pick your brain. How do you see these types of activities as being fundamentally different from a regular worksheet based on my comments above?

David Cox said...

I suppose that can happen. That's why I embedded the "Easter Egg." Student B can't use A's answer because there is no guarantee that their answer should match. Now, if student B still assumes that A has the same answer, then we have an entirely different problem.

I think making answers available is a good thing because it does allow for working backwards. However, the row game fosters communication between students and is self checking at the same time.

I know that my allowing for times when their answers won't match might fly in the face of the row game purists, but I like the possiblities it provides.