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Background For Teachers:
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Pass out a card with an addend on it to each student. The cards should be numbered 0-10. Instruct the students that their assignment is to find someone who has an addend that when added to their addend will produce the sum of ten. Once they have found the addend to complete the assignment have them stand next to each other and hold up their cards. You will collect the cards and make a quick assessment to see if each pair is correct.
If you have an odd number of students in your class, then one student will be left without a partner. One way to deal with this is let that student be responsible for checking if the pairs are correct. Another way could be to ask the class to figure out a way to incorporate this student into the groups. Maybe they will opt to shuffle the pairs and form one group of 3 to include the student.
Now that each student has a partner we will play a game. Each pair will face each other and put one hand behind their back. On the teachers mark each student will show the hand they have been hiding showing a number of fingers (1-5). The student who can correctly give the sum of the two hands quicker wins that round. The students who did not win will take their seats and the remaining students will pair up with the student closest to them and play the game again. The game is played until one student remains. Discuss with the students why for some of them it was easier than it was for others.
An alternative to this game could be to have the non-winners partner up and continue playing the game. That way all the non-winners have a chance to experience being winners and vice versa. You can have the class play a couple of rounds of this. This alternative method has the advantage of leaving the class divided into two equal groups which is what we need for the following activity.
Walters, L. S., (2000). Putting Cooperative Learning to the Test. Harvard Education Letter. May/June 2000. (1-6).
Cooperative learning in the classroom has a strong research base. Teachers are moving away from the traditional teaching methods, rearranging their students into groups where they are encouraged to talk and share ideas as they shift to accommodate more teamwork within the classroom. Two essential components need to exist for cooperative learning to lead to significant gains in achievement. The first key component promotes interdependence with groups -- fostering the perception that students must work together to accomplish the goal. The second key component is to hold students individually accountable for demonstrating their understanding of the material. Students cannot “hitchhike” within the group.
Lacampagne, Carole, B. (1993). State of the Art: Transforming Ideas for Teaching and Learning Mathematics. Office of Educational Research and Improvement, July 1993. (1-14)
This research covers some fundamental shifts for the teaching and learning of mathematics. For teachers, administrators, and parents, it presents ten ideas for transforming mathematical teaching. A major focus is that all students can and must learn mathematics. Mathematics is not linear and hierarchical with teaching rote skills first, followed by problem solving later; but builds on that students learn best when they are intellectually challenged so that they are motivated to fill in mathematical gaps when necessary. Teachers need to provide stimulating problems and an environment to motivate mathematical learning.
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