Monday, October 1, 2012

Math imPossible: Part Deux

I was so excited about last week's Math imPossible online scavenger hunt.  I worked hard.  I planned.  I included audio and video and still the result was... less than sizzling.  Not that it was bad, but it turned out that page after page of math problems didn't yield the same excitement I imagined (but honestly, I thought 5 pages with 2-3 problems per page packaged as an online scavenger hunt style was hardly unreasonable for a review practice).  So why write about it again?
Well, one, because I fixed it and two, because I think it is important to reflect.  Regardless of how long I've been teaching, everything doesn't always work out the first time.  It is important to remember, I can't give up.  I can't quit trying new things.  I must continue to push the envelope.  I must re-evaluate.  What worked?  What didn't?   Don't sweat what didn't work...just fix it.
So, where did I miss the mark?  The fun-ness factor fell sharply after the initial discovery that our class website had been hacked.  But for that one moment of discovery, emotion was high!  The kids faces when they saw our regular site bearing the symbol of the hacker was priceless.  They bought in. They were hooked.
After they began working through the math problems though, the activity became more like an online worksheet (NOT what I was going for!).  I could see the enthusiasm waning as they worked their way through the website, so I asked a few kids what they were hoping for when they started the Math imPossible adventure.  Some suggested QR codes. Some wanted to run around the school.  Some thought the clues should be presented differently (the clues were obtained by playing "Guess Who" with only 5 questions).  All great suggestions and all feedback was appreciated!  Why? Because I want to get better.  I want them to have a positive emotional reaction to math, so that they don't dread it or fear it, but actually look forward to it.
This week's #Made4Math project is Math imPossible: Part Deux.  Better and Improved.  I kept Page 1 featuring the Powtoon video and activity explanation.
The clues were changed from the "20 questions/Guess Who" format to photos displayed after each correctly worked problem set.  Now every year, the culprit will be a senior boy with brown hair who plays sports (sorry, future students).
I added two "get up and move" opportunities.  In one, they run to the flag pole to get a key code which will virtually "unlock" the next picture clue.
In the other "get moving", they head to the library to scan a QR code clue which will reveal the color of the culprit's hair. (The QR clue was created with QR Code Kaywa.)  I hope "running wildly through the school" will add the fun factor the activity initially lacked (and yet, not get me fired!)
On the last page, I changed the actual "guess" process from entering the suspect's name in Rafflecopter to a Google form with a digital feel.
The initial activity was academically sound; the content was spot-on, no typos, not too hard, not too easy.  But if I work hours on a project, I want it to sizzle, not fizzle.  By making a few tweaks, I think this might just do it.  I'll get feedback again from my students and make adjustments as needed.  If this works (fingers crossed), expect an Amazing Race in my near future:)

1 comment:

druin said...

Wow - that is awesome. I want to play! :)