We were on a convocation schedule today.
The result was we had 37 minute classes today.
When I dropped the news on my students last week, one of my kids said, ”We should play a game, Mr. Dull! Like Musical Chairs!”
OK, I’ll bite. That actually sounds like a pretty good idea.
I put out a call for advice:
Then did a little googling around (clearly not the first person to think of this, thankfully), and we were ready to roll.
Also you guys, it’s good to have that one person who will give you a little nudge to follow thru on a crazy idea that you inadvertently say out loud:
No turning back now, right?
Basic design was four problem sets at each table, with a decreasing number of problems. Everybody is in for the first two rounds, after that there is one less problem at the table for each successive round.
I ran the activity in four classes back to back today. I had a pretty solid idea of how it would all play out but I’ll admit, I made up some things as I went.
Like: how to keep students engaged throughout the class period. I knew the “once you’re out, you’re out” model of the actual musical chairs game would not work – too many people standing around watching, too much incentive to not participate. That will never do.
Solution: floaters. Anyone who is “eliminated” becomes the go-to person for help at their table. And, everybody starts over every round. So nobody is knocked out in the first five minutes and is never heard from again.
So that was the upside.
The downside: some problems were a little too challenging (I used Kuta to generate the problems, trading speed for control over content) so I spent a lot of time circulating the room jump starting students who were blown away (not necessarily bad, just I wanted the activity to be a little more self-run), and the corollary: a lot of evaporation happens over the weekend.
But in a couple of classes the culture of collaboration kicked in and students started helping each other, which was pretty sweet.
My #Teacherlife #2019Playlist made its in-class debut, which was cool.
(“Play 8TEEN, Mr. Dull! Play 8TEEN!”). Extra added bonus was the cred which comes from knowing when to ride the volume control to mute class-questionable content.
My super-Type-A students wanted more reps than they got, which is an occupational hazard around here. I’ll get them covered on the actual review day Wednesday (alg ii 8.1 – 8.4 review packet).
So the activity can use a little tweaking, but overall it’s a keeper. The kid who suggested it tried to deflect credit but I was sure to thank him for his contribution. Students gave it a “we’d play that again” at the end of class, so I’ll take that as an endorsement. On a short day I got what I wanted, plus I think I have another game to add to my review toolkit.