Monday, December 4, 2017

Teach 180: The Stalled Start (Day 62)

Today I started my 8 AM class with a Desmos card sort.  Students were to match quadratic and cubic functions with their derivatives.  We did a quick review of what the derivative of a general linear function would be, but this didn't lead to student success with the activity as fast as I thought it would.  An example of a matched derivative and function can be seen below.

Although students worked with pairs, the first 20 minutes of class felt like starting a car up on a cold winter morning after a week of it being idle.  (With no class on Friday due to our rotating schedule, this is probably an accurate analogy.)  We had many mismatched pairs and I had to work with individual groups of students to explain how the graph of the derivative matched with the graph of the function.

So, would I do this activity again?  Most definitely.  However, I think I would create a slide with just 3 matches in the future and have our class work on that together - asking for verbal justification of why students paired certain graphs together.  This would be the equivalent of letting the engine and car heater run for about 5-10 minutes before driving the car.  Perhaps this would have led me to not having a stalled start.