Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Totally Silly but Works

I made up a totally silly call-and-response thing this year for practicing exponent rules (after we did the initial exploration, obviously, so that they could understand why the rules work). It's mad cheesy, but the kids totally remember the rules now!! The hardest part is keeping the clapping going, but I'm not sure if it's because of my students being totally off-rhythm in general or what (they're super suburban kids).

So we clap, step from side to side, and I say, "8B, are you ready?" and they chant, "Yeah, oh yeah!"

And then I call on a random kid, "Nora, are you ready?" and she chants, "Yeah, oh yeah!"

and then I call out one of the following: "Power times power", "Power to a power", or "Power over power" while holding up fingers in each hand (up to 5, obviously, in each hand) to represent the original exponents we're working with.

Depending on which one I call out, the kids need to reply with, "You gotta add them up!" "You gotta mul-ti-ply!"  or "You gotta can-cel out!" in a sing-song voice, and that kid I named would then have to say the answer (resulting exponent) immediately after. (For example, if I am holding up 3 fingers and 5 fingers, and it's "power times power, you gotta add them up!" then the kid would shout out "8!")

And then we'd resume with me calling on the next kid randomly. It's mad cheesy, but it works! Afterwards, they were all loose and happy when practicing exponent rules. Every practice problem I would put on the board, I'd ask them which rule can be applied first or next, and they'd say it back in that sing-song voice, "you gotta mul-ti-ply!"

Go kids for being good sports!! It helps to make a boring topic a little less tedious! Next year, I'll necessarily add dance moves to help our kinesthetic learners. (I already have them. I came up with them after we did the exercise.)

Yup... I've got little shame left. :)

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