Saturday, 10 November 2012

Group Work with Year 10 - Properties of Quadrilaterals

Set up before lesson...

On Thursday this week I decided to get my Year 10s to do a bit of group work to share their prior knowledge of properties of quadrilaterals. As I was hoping to just refresh the topic and check any misconceptions I decided this would be a great time to introduce group work to the class, complete with a change of layout to my room...again!

I laid out the tables in the above fashion and on each desk had one of my number tiles from 1-7 (for each group). I then, on each desk, had a blank piece of A4 paper ready for the first task. However, before doing this the class needed to be put into groups. When doing group work previously I have always sat down and spent far too much time on considering who to put in what group and who should/shouldn't work with one another etc and so this time I thought I'd use the idea I used with my newly setted year 7 class - do it randomly!
So, at the start of the lesson met each of the students at the door and gave them a question to which the answer was either 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7. I purposefully made it that there were 4 questions to which the answers were one of the 7 numbers except for the answers 5 and 6 (these tables had 5 seats around them and so needed 5 sets of questions to which they were the answer - the reason for this was because there was most space around the tables in order for students to be sat comfortably around the room). I was very pleased with how well my room accommodates this sort of layout as it is massive :).
Once the students got their questions they then started by finding their table and took a seat. I checked as they were sitting down that certain personalities weren't in the same group and then moved a few people to account for absentees.

After the class were all sat down I told them why we were doing group work and then introduced the first task - a collective memory task from Mr Barton! see http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/Collective-Memory-Types-of-Quadrilaterals-6063882/. This task involved groups organising themselves into 'runners' and one 'writer' and then, in turn, the 'runners' coming to the back of the room to look at the poster of quadrilaterals and then relay the information to the 'writer' in their group. This was fantastic as the students had to use their knowledge of quadrilaterals to explain what they had seen on the poster, including all notches, parallel line marks, equal sides, etc etc. After the task I revealed the poster for the benefit of the writers and even managed to get in a 'what percentage of you haven't seen this?' question. I then left the winning group up to a fellow teacher who was observing the lesson.
After this, I gave the class Mr Barton's w/sheet on quadrilaterals and gave them 5 mins to match up the shapes, names and descriptions. Here's Mr. Barton's w/sheet http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/Properties-of-quadrilaterals-6030410/ and here's the online timer that I use... http://www.online-stopwatch.com/full-screen-stopwatch/.
I then went through the answers on the board (using the transparent SMART board button I discovered over half term (see previous post on SMART board training). What I liked about this task was that (as my colleague commentated) due to the fact the groups had worked together previously they were helping each other more than they may have done on the task and sharing knowledge.

After this I gave the class a series of dominoes that I had spent the previous evening cutting up and laminating in order to give 7 sets for each group. The resource can be found here... http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/Quadrilaterals-Dominoes-6024859/ and are by Not_Just_Sums. This worked well and was something that, even though I had spent all the time producing them, I forgot to put on my lesson plan when writing this up the morning after - I was very happy I managed to squeeze it in! This task again got students working in groups to share their knowledge and check each others' reasons as to why the dominoes were allowed to be laid where they intended.

Finally, we watched a short video about classifying quadrilaterals and then I gave each member of the class my ABCD fans (see previous post) and gave the class 10 quick questions to assess what they had learnt in the lesson - the class kept a tally and the majority of them got 9 or 10 of the questions right.
My colleague gave me her observation notes on the lesson and commented on lots of positive things in the lesson she had seen and would look to use in her lessons, she is a GTP student and so I was glad I could help provide some ideas for her lessons.