Sunday, June 29, 2014

Summarizing and Thinking Time

One of the books on my to-be-read list is Summarization in Any Subject by Rick Wormeli. This is a book that I've been eyeing for at least a year, so I checked it out from my school's Professional Library in May. Today, hubby and I went to take my dad out for dinner, which gave me a couple of hours roundtrip to skim the book and I'm glad I did! The book claims to have 50 strategies for any subject and while I wasn't equally impressed with all of the strategies, I did find several that I really liked.

One of the things that I have read about a lot lately is the idea of 10:2, which is the concept of every 10 minutes of the lesson/lecture, give students 2 minutes of processing time. I have known of this concept for years, but at my AVID workshop, it hit me again. I'm definitely one that needs my processing time and as a learner, I really appreciate when that time is built into the lesson, but I don't do enough of it as a teacher. I hear people talking about writing in math and when I was in high school, I would have agreed with the nay-sayers, but as a learner now, I see the benefit of writing. When I write, whether on this blog or in the mini-notebook I carry with me, it allows me an avenue to get the random thoughts out of my head and onto paper so that I can organize them into coherent ideas. If I keep them bottled up in my head, I get overwhelmed and lose focus because of all of the jumble of thoughts running and jumping and playing in my head. My notebook looks like a jumbled mess too, but once an idea is down on paper, I can process it and determine the feasibility of the idea.

I still need to go back and read the book in more detail, but here are the notes I jotted down while skimming in the car today:

  • 3-2-1 - This one is a pretty standard summary strategy and I've used it as an exit ticket, but I am including it because I don't think I use it to its full potential. In fact, the other day at Barnes and Noble, I saw one in a book that I was skimming that was 5-4-3-2-1 and it was an end of year reflection/teacher evaluation.

  • Carousel Brainstorming - I have used this strategy (and the similar Gallery Walk) before but not recently. Funny thing is that I even pinned a few ideas related to this strategy last night/this morning while browsing pinterest for AVID ideas. One of the reasons I haven't used it as much over the past few years is due to the cost of chart paper, which lead to me tweeting out a request for cheap chart paper ideas and Beth (@algebrasfriend) replied about the coloring paper at IKEA which is $5 for 100 feet of 18" wide paper. That made me look at Sam's, which apparently has 1000 feet of butcher paper for $18, so guess where I'm going shopping tomorrow? :) Custom sized posters... charts... banners... OH MY! :)

  • Inner Outer Circle - Earlier today, @kklaster had tweeted out about Quiz, Quiz, Trade, which is a quick review strategy that I have used before. When I read the section on Inner Outer Circle, it reminded me of a time that I had used it with Algebra 2 and log/exp form. I made flashcards with log form on one side and exp form on the other and had the kids get into concentric circles. They quizzed each other on switching between the two forms, then the circles rotated to a new partner. This past school year, I used QQT for some other ideas but had forgotten the circles part and mass chaos erupted as kids struggled to partner up or stayed with the same person instead of mixing around like they were supposed to. After reading this strategy and thinking/reflecting, I definitely think I will use QQT and Inner/Outer together as it keeps the kids with a structure on partnering and less chaos in general. Now to start working on my QQT cards! (Hoping I can get a set together for #Made4Math tomorrow!)

  • Learning Logs - This is another strategy that we use extensively in AVID, but I haven't really used it much in my math classes. I want to spend some time developing good Learning Log prompts for AP Stat...

  • Brain Dump - The book called this Partners A and B, but to me, it was purely a 'brain dump'. This is another strategy I have used in AVID, but not as much in my math classes. This would be a great strategy to use with the 10:2 concept. After about 10-15 minutes of lesson/lecture, let the kids have a brain dump. Often my students are seated in pairs, so designate one of them as person 1 and the other as person 2. Set a timer on your phone for 1 minute and person 1 says everything they can recall from the lesson so far. At the bell, person 2 does the same thing, but tries not to repeat anything that was on person 1's list. When the buzzer goes off again, give 1-2 minutes of writing time for the students to process/summarize the partner talk.

  • Give One Get One - This is another strategy I've used before, but I like how the book used a 3x3 matrix to collect the responses. In the past, I've done it with post-it notes and the students actually exchanged post-its, but the matrix has so many possibilities for organizing thought or even sequencing. Definitely a modification I plan to steal!

  • Summary Ball - When I first read this strategy, I thought it was going in the direction of the "write a bunch of questions on a beach ball and toss it around", which is a fun idea and one that I have pinned several times from various blog posts. However, this one had a fun twist of just tossing around the ball and saying something you had learned that day/unit, but if you couldn't think of anything, you had to sit down. I think it would be fun to see how long this could last and I am curious to try it on a quiz/test review day!

  • The book has 50 total strategies, but these are just a few of the ones that I really liked or have used before. I highly recommend the book and plan to purchase it for my personal library!

    Now back to the 10:2 idea. While skimming the book, I tweeted out the following:


    I really want to develop a go-to list of ideas that are really quick ideas similar to the ones listed above that I can use as a mini-processing activity. If you have a favorite one, please let me know!
  • 1 comment:

    Beth Ferguson said...

    I'm taking a ball to school - love that idea! Kids will like it too!