Precise Language and “The Baby”

My Math 8 students have been exploring linear functions.  These kiddos learn about rate of change and initial value in contexts where slope-intercept form reigns, leaving other linear forms to be emphasized later in Algebra 1.  We’ve also landed planes and launched marbles, but I felt an emphasis on graphing by hand would be a good warm-up today… just to be sure, after all of our tech explorations, that students still knew how to graph if the skill being assessed was such.

As students grabbed rulers and worked alone while I took attendance, I walked around, and gave them several minutes of individual work time.  To transition, I grabbed a clean warm-up sheet, plopped at the document camera, and asked for volunteers to explain to me, step-by-step, how to graph each function.

Except, I told them I would be a 6-year-old and that I would be doing EXACTLY what they told me to do.  Literally.

Whelp, I can’t express through a post all of the silly things I did, and all of the laughs we had.  I took their instructions very literally, and they howled, eventually leading me to graph each line correctly.  When I transitioned back to “myself” they begged me to be “the baby” again as they explained various problems to me in extreme detail.

There was no lack of volunteers here.  As a matter of fact, they were BEGGING me to call on them.

Could “the baby” help develop precise language with a math concept you’re working on?  

Note: Sense of humor required! 😉

Reminded me of this “Exact Instructions Challenge” and all of this could be extended to this week’s Hour of Code. 🙂

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