Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Describe it to me!

Ever have those moments where you have to get something out of your head before you forget??  For me, the older I get, the more often those moments happen!  If I don't write it down (and quickly), I'm just sunk.

Anyway, so today, I had a brilliant idea!  Or at least it seemed brilliant at the time... :). I quickly jotted down a note on a post and now that I have a few minutes, decided to blog it out.  This will be one of those rare posts without a pin-able picture and since I'm using my iPad, my finger might be hurting when I'm done jabbing the screen after this post.  :)

In my Stat class, I often ask kids to describe something, whether that is a graph, a distribution, whatever.  For whatever reason, this is something that gives many of my students trouble.  For years, I have told them to "just tell me what you see!", but some kids still struggle.  Either they miss the big picture or they don't give me enough information.  I've even used the old Saturday Night Sketch where the lady is trying to describe the thief to the police officers, but it hasn't really helped them get what I mean.  So, next year, when I initially teach describing, I'm going to try a different approach...

I'm going to ask a student volunteer to be the "Guesser", then have them sit in my podium chair with their back to my Promethean.  Another student volunteer will be the "teller" and will be seated where they can see the board.  Then, I'll project a photo of a famous person and have the Teller describe the person to the Guesser and after every clue, ask the Guesser if they can guess who is being described. I'm hoping this will get the point across that one clue alone isn't typically enough information and that the more descriptive the Teller can be, the better picture the Guesser can form in his/her head and the better guess that can be made.

After a few of these, I'll give the Guesser a whiteboard and project a graph on the board.  Now the Teller will need to describe the graph in such a way that the Guesser can draw the graph on the whiteboard.  This would transition into student pairs writing descriptions of a graph on paper, giving the written description to their partner and seeing if the partner can recreate the graph.

As a side note, I am pretty sure I have seen something similar as a time filler activity from a substitute teacher guide... Might have to find that book/website again!!

pamjwilson said...

Love this! Reminds me of a pictionary acticvity i used highlighting domain/range of functions. Sad i can't pin it lol!

xypi said...

This is fantastic! I will definitely try something similar. My students also struggle with describing things appropriately, more with using the vocabulary right.

And trying to draw it so it matches sounds like hilarious fun!

Sara said...

sounds like the kagan strategy called "Detective"!

Amy Zimmer said...

Very cool. Makes me think fondly of Fall, no wait!