Give your students a change from solving math worksheets or working math exercises from a math book. This activity will fit all types of math problems.
Colored pencils/ colored dot stickers
Small boxes or container for each type of problem
Objective: to have students work math problems without sitting at their desk or going to chalk board
Before the class:
Determine how many types of problems the students must learn. For example, a review on decimals may include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. So, you would need 6 boxes which include a box for each of the following:
Addition of decimals
Subtraction of decimals
Multiplication of decimals
Division – a whole number divisor and a decimal in the dividend
Division – a decimal divisor and a decimal dividend
Division – a decimal divisor and a whole number dividend
The size of the index cards depends on the problems. I used 3 x 5 index cards. Assign each group of problems a color. Use a colored pencil to place a darkened circle on each card. For example, place a green dot on the addition problems, red for subtraction problems, and so on. Attach or glue problems onto index cards. I made five problem for each group.
In the class:
After the teacher has taught the lesson, direct the students to solve one problem from each box. The boxes are located in different locations around the room. In my case, I placed one box on seven tables. Instruct the students to write the color and the problem number, solve the problem and replace the card in the same box. Then, move to another table with a box to solve the next math problem. It does not matter what order the math exercises are done. It took about twenty-five minutes for approximately twenty students to work seven rate and ratio problems. Meanwhile, the instructor walks around answering questions. Also, this is an opportunity to set up your next lesson or Power Point presentation. If time permits, instruct students to work a second set of problems by revisiting each box and solving a different problem. Once students are halfway done, post the answers either on a wall,or on an PPT slide. Then,answer any questions.
Next time I will post the index cards with the answers on a wall or on the magnetic dry erase board. Also, the first time I facilitated this activity, I became so involved moving from student to student I forgot to set up for the next lesson. So, it cost me few minutes. However, I was pleased on how the students were engaged and the collaboration that naturally occurred. The students were out of their seats, moving with purpose, and stimulating those brain cells. When they returned to their seats they were ready to proceed to the next learning objective.