Speed dating math classroom
You can mark the problems "easy" "medium" "hard" and let the kids pick their challenge level - it works surprisingly well. The activity itself makes students interact with different classmates but for a short enough time so that it never gets too awkward and they never have enough time to start goofing off. Here's where you can differentiate, by giving quick workers more difficult problems. Math Speed Dating increases engagement. Each time students switch partners, they work on a new math problem, so accountability is high to learn the skill. This was christened "Speed Dating" by my third period trig class last year.
It was fun seeing the confidence level increase in solving these problems after a few dating rotations. This way, when I assign starting seats, I make sure my struggling students are toward the beginning of the row and my higher students are toward the end. To differentiate, use a mix of difficulties. I had a double period to fill, and I had just read about it, and it seemed like it would be fun. This gives students a little more motivation to ask their partner to help them understand a problem—because in a minute they will have to switch partners and solve a similar problem. Another class I had called it "The Math Train. If someone raises their hand to ask me a question, I first ask the expert student, "What is his question? We are working on solving systems of equations and started out by solving via graphing. To prepare, you will need cards or slips of paper with problems on one side and the answers on the other. Try out some of my Speed Dating activities in my TpT store! If you will have the whole class working together, you need as many problems as students. The first time you introduce Math Speed Dating to your students, I suggest you go at a slow pace to make sure students are taking their time to discuss the problems with one another and record their answers at the depth that you expect. This was christened "Speed Dating" by my third period trig class last year. The social component makes it fun, whatever you call it. The student on the end that gets bumped off circles around to the other end. I had no idea it would be such a productive use of time! My higher students stay challenged throughout as they must explain their more challenging problem to each of their new partners. The activity itself makes students interact with different classmates but for a short enough time so that it never gets too awkward and they never have enough time to start goofing off. This way, lower students become experts at simpler problems and build confidence as they explain these problems to new people. Each set contains detailed instructions for setting it up in your classroom. Each student gets a problem. When ready, the students trade problems with the person across from them and work it. When the activity begins, students receive the same problem that their partners across from them receive. If you are breaking the class into two distinct groups, you need half as many problems as students, but two copies. I had 12 groups. Also I knew the correct answer was their as well.
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