Strategy Swap


My pre-algebra students had an “Explain Everything” review before their last test, so I took what I learned from that experience and used “EE” with my Algebra students to help them prepare for their test tomorrow.  I made some changes to help guide students to make a quality product in a short timeframe, and I liked what I saw!  I chose 8 problems from the chapter, addressing each of the learning targets, and assigned one problem to each of the 8 random groups.  Students followed the Explain Everything Jigsaw Review Template I created to help them focus their preparation time.  Each student worked out the assigned problem on the handout first, talking through the steps along the way.


Then, students wrote out a brief “script” to help decide who was explaining each part of the problem before creating the screen recording.  Next, students followed the plan they’d designed to create the recording.  Finally, each group showed their “video” to the class.  The back of the student handout provided a space for each problem to be solved as students watched one another’s videos, giving every student a tangible study guide as a resource, as well as helping students focus on the mathematics being presented by their peers.

It was so fun to see leaders emerge within these random groups, helping to delegate roles and responsibilities within the groups.  Talking through the problems, students clarified misconceptions and caught minor errors (like sign mistakes or decimal placement issues).  As is the case with teaching, the most time consuming part for these students was spent on the planning!  In the end, I saw quality products and heard every student voice explain something!  We may not be able to truly “Explain Everything” in 52 short minutes, but this task was worth it!


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