Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Teach 180: Automatic Recall (Day 23)

From time to time, we (the teachers in my math department and me) require students to do a portion of an assessment without a calculator.  Just like we don't expect students to use a calculator to multiply 8 x 3 in elementary school, we don't expect students to need a calculator to do basic arithmetic with rational exponents. Today in Calculus, I reviewed rational exponents with my students.  Below, you can see some of the types of questions we did.

To review these we played a game called "Exponents Around the World".  There are 32 questions and one question is on each slide.  A student goes in head-to-head competition against another student for a question.  Whoever says the answer first moves on to compete against the next student, trying to get "around the world" of the classroom.  It was very competitive as one student had just three students to beat to make it around the world.  The class is primarily seniors, but there are two juniors.  This one junior boy lost his only head-to-head competition against the junior girl and did not quite make it "around the world".

Although this is a fun game, not all students thrive with intensive competition or time pressures.  In fact, according to the book Neuroteach, if the pressure or stress is too high learning stops completely.  Since this was a topic students had seen before, I thought it was acceptable to use this highly competitive game to review.  However, I would not have used this game as students were just starting to learn the concept of rational exponents.

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