Revision Relay

This is a quick post to share an idea and related resource.

Year 8 is about to have a maths exam next week with multiple topics: Algebra and Equations, Fractions/Decimals/Percentages, Angles, Circles/Areas and Ratios. To make revision a bit more fun, I’m doing it as team work and relay style.  The main objective is for students to identify topics they need to personally revise, i.e. assessment for learning.

There are 2 relay games and these are available as aWord document – ready to use or even alter to suit your needs – ie different topics and/or year group. To use, cut the relay questions – this one is ready for 3 groups; duplicate for more groups. Cut into columns.

  1. Divide students into 5 per team – assign names or ‘tribes’ if you like to suit a Survivor challenge theme
  2. Assign each student a number from 1 to 5  (or they pick themselves)
  3. Give Relay 1 questions to each group and a piece of blank paper for solutions. No discussions allowed at this point.
  4. Student 1 answers Q1 and pass answer and questions to Student 2.  Student 2 needs Q1 answer to solve Q2, Q2 answer to solve Q3, etc.  It’s up to you if you want students to work individually or cumulatively help each other such that by the time they get to Q5, the whole team works on it. This is my preferred option for differentiation purposes, i.e. those I think need the  most help will be Student 5.
  5. First team to get the correct answer wins.  If a team’s answer is wrong, trace back for errors.
  6. De-brief to help students identify where they might have struggled a bit and therefore need more revision.
  7. Run Relay 2 in the same way, i.e. build on from Student 1 with Q1 to the end.

That’s it. This idea can also be used at the start or end of school as well or even just as a team-building exercise, e.g. before a group sets off on a project.

Can you think of any more adaptations?

Concentric Circles of Learning

I like collaborative work and social constructivism, i.e. learning from and with others. Today, I got to use this method in collaboration with another year 8 maths teacher.  This post is both a lesson idea as well as a reflection on this type of learning.

As an introduction to the new topic of Circles, this lesson was designed to assess (for learning) what the students already knew about Parts of a Circle. Instead of the usual questioning and Diagnostic Test methods, we decided to do this:

Lesson Idea

1. Pair up students within each class. We used class buddies.

2. Each pair list as many parts as they can remember in 3 minutes. Materials: PostIt notes or small piece of paper

3. Each pair is paired up with another pair, i.e. group of 4. We had 9 groups with one having more than 4 members.

4. On butcher paper, each group constructs (draws) circle/s and labels the parts accordingly.

We were only going to give them 10 minutes to do this but the students were engaged in discussion and construction (some got very artistic) so we extended this to 15 minutes. Materials: butcher paper, compasses.

5. Each group presents to the whole group (2 classes) their posters and is asked to describe one part in detail, e.g. Diameter as a line passing from a point on the circumference to another point on the circumference passing through the centre (or something along those lines).

This was actually a good conceptual review as well as literacy exercise.

6. For homework (and reinforcing what was learned), give a worksheet on labelling parts of the circle.

Concentric Circles of Learning

Concentric circles are circles within circles, all sharing the same centre point. I think this is a beautiful metaphor for learning. At the centre is the individual learner. When this learner learns from and with others, his/her learning circle radiates outwards and gets bigger and bigger, as does personal learning and knowledge. As in the lesson above, each learner brings his/her own knowledge to share firstly with one other, then with another two, then to a bigger group and so on.

While there were technically two teachers in the classroom, more teaching and learning happened between students. Today, we (my colleague and I) did not teach. Today, we facilitated learning at individual and group levels. Collaboration happened at many levels today (and before today where planning was concerned). Today was a good day.

Where this metaphor falls short is that in fact, there are many concentric circles and these circles overlap as they do in Venn Diagrams. But, that’s perhaps another post!