Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kids trying algebra again and again...

Last Friday I was at a small but spectacular tech conference.  One of the sessions was by a local math teacher and how he uses tech in his room.  He had a lot of great tips and resources, but the one I used today in class was the website thatquiz.org

The website has various math, science, vocab, geography and foreign language questions.  All topics can be controlled for length and difficulty.  I have seen the website before but was never sure how to use it effectively.  On Friday, a math teacher shared his amazing approach with this website...

So today I started class with the "Daily Algebra Challenge."  I chose the skill of simplifying like termed expressions and set up a ten question quiz.  The quiz then gives a hyperlink so the kids can get right to the quiz with the parameters you chose.  

I took the quiz 1 time, got 100% right in 29 seconds and left the score open in a tab in my browser.  

So when the students came in for class I introduced the new idea of a "daily algebra challenge."  I told them where to find the link, and anyone that can tie or beat my time wins the challenge that day.  

I have never seen the effort or determination from some of the students like I saw today.  Students trying, failing, and eagerly trying again to defeat the challenge.  It was amazing to see.  Of course some students won the challenge in the first 4-5 tries, but other students played 10, 20, or more times.  Some students accomplished the challenge and some did not, but all students got a lot of algebra practice.

Of course some students tried to cheat and change the settings to make their time faster, but they were easy to spot.  

The greatest thing about this website is the ease of it to use.  There were no usernames, no logins and no hassle.  I just found a quiz I liked, clicked "make url" and then posted the URL on my website. 

Super easy, super engaging, and super fun stuff!

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