Before moving into a new unit involving multiplication, Miss Roeckle had students complete an entrance slip to assess mastery of using addition and subtraction in problem solving. In minutes, she was able to tell which students completely understood how to solve the selected problem, which students partially understood how to solve the selected problem, and which students had little to no understanding of how to solve the selected problem.
Through this quick assessment, she was able to determine that most students fully understood, a few students set the problem up correctly but had a computation error, and that one student didn't appear to understand how to go about solving the problem at all.
Next, she introduced and modeled how to play a math game to the entire class. This game involved working with arrays in multiplication. After instructing students to work with partners carefully arranged by her, she asked a few students to meet her at the back table.
During this time, she used the entrance slips to reteach addition and subtraction in problem solving to a small group. Once she felt students understood the concept, she dismissed them from the group to join partners in the ongoing math game.
Several of the students already understood the concept but needed to work on carefully checking their work.
Math Investigations Game:
Students have sets of array cards with factors/dimensions on them (example: 8 x 7). They lay out all of the array cards and make two columns on a piece of paper. They label the paper, "Combinations I Know" and "Combinations I Don't Know."
Then, students take turns pointing to an array. When they point to an array, they are to say how many squares are in the array. If they don't immediately know the answer, they turn the array card over and look at the answer. Next, they write the number sentence (ex: 8 x 7 = 56) in the "Combinations I Don't Know" column.
Note: Miss Roeckle will be graduating from Missouri State University in December, 2011. She'll be looking for a job in the Springfield, MO, area. She's doing an amazing job!!