Have you seen Dan Meyer’s fun little “Pick a Point” geometry task?
If not, watch this before reading on.
Today, AFTER I’d already introduced polynomial vocabulary (not the most interesting topic) I had students play Desmos “Polygraph” with tasks created by John Stevens and me.
And then it hit me.
I just passed up the opportunity to establish intellectual need. I *TAUGHT* the vocabulary, then used Polygraph to practice it.
Which was fine. First, I used a Nearpod lesson to introduce the vocabulary. The Nearpod lesson continuously asked students to create polynomials with varying characteristics. They clearly applied the vocabulary and created a variety of polynomials (correct and incorrect ones) that far surpassed your average textbook’s bone-dry examples, while creating interesting and misconception-revealing non-examples.
But… couldn’t I have applied Dan’s “Pick a Point” strategy on a grander scale, asking ALL students to play a round or two of Polygraph with little to no vocabulary to lean on… first?
The answer is yes… I could have… and probably, I should have… and definitely, I WILL do that next time. 🙂
What math topics and concepts come to your mind that might benefit our students more if they’re given a shot at a Pre-Polygraph and a Post-Polygraph once “intellectual need” is established?