Monday, September 6, 2010

Directions, anyone?

I just finished grading my first set of Algebra 1 quizzes.  In doing so, I discovered that quite a few mistakes were made in not reading/following directions on the quiz.

So what's my solution?  Send out a tweet.  I asked for help in finding a  following directions activity and received the following replies.

1.  from @ColinTGraham:  Origami is great for that. Cut up the diagrams, separate diagrams from the written instructions - reconstruct. Teaches 1 step ahead.

2.  from @Praxisofreflect:  Here's one (there are a million variations on it): http://goo.gl/HzYR
         and an update:  The one on p. 2 is what I was thinking of - just realized it has more on that document!

3.  from @ColinTGraham (again):  Tangrams is good too because you can move it into algebra too! Sneaky teacher ;-P http://bit.ly/dawQ9A

4.  from @dandersod:  like this? http://www.justriddlesandmore.com/direct.html

I'd found something like Praxisofreflect and dandersod suggested here but it involves speaking out loud and I don't want to embarrass the kids.  Think I'll go with one of theirs instead.

Thanks, all!

(And if anyone else has any suggestions, please comment!)

2 comments:

  1. If you plan on giving the students one of the trick quizzes, there is a lot you can do depending on your overall goal. For example, you can leave a spot for 'name:' but have the last question tell them to write their name in the top right corner (not the spot labeled 'name:').

    Also, I know that when I see quizzes like that I automatically jump to the end. If you wanted to be extra tricky, you could have the last problem say something like "Once you have finished reading all the problems, fill out only problem # ___ and turn it in" while a problem somewhere in the middle could say "ignore all problems except this one." That way you could see three possible solutions from the students (not reading directions, skipping to the end, and reading everything).

    You have the freedom to make the assignment as simple or complex as you want - the possibilities are endless.

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  2. I gave the quiz with success today - as long as "success" being that the majority of the kids didn't read the directions and went straight through all of the problems! The one I used had 15 questions; #13 was the one that said "skip the last two questions, go back and complete only #3" because I would've been the type to read ahead to the last question, too. But that's great advice (I probably wouldn't have thought of that if I didn't find an already prepared quiz)!

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