Saturday, June 24, 2017

Convergence Mastery Pondering

Don't you just love it when the first strategy of the first chapter of a book just stops you cold and you need to go ponder it, tweet about it, research it, blog it, or a combination of all of those? :)

As I've already said, I have WAY too many books in my to-be-read pile and today is an absolutely GORGEOUS day with a light breeze, sunlight, and temps around 80 degrees, so of course, I'm choosing to be outside enjoying the weather!  Today I decided to pick up a more math-y book, so I found this gem in my pile:

I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be an #EduRead book once upon a time as my Amazon account shows that I purchased it back in the Summer of 2014, but I've never read it :)  (Let's just say I'm *really* addicted to buying books!)

Even today, it took me a bit to get past the Introduction, etc and I was tempted to put it down, but I persevered and I'm glad I did!  This book promises to have 60+ strategies, but I'm stuck on Strategy #1 - Convergence Mastery.  As soon as I read the strategy, I sat down the book, started writing in my journal, researching via Google, and decided that I had to blog!

From my research, here's a definition based on a previous book by Mr. Thomas:

Basically, if there is a skill you wish all of your students to have, you build in these short mini-quizzes.  The teacher writes multiple short (2-4 question) quizzes, similar to what I would call a "Quick Check" in my classroom, with each quiz being the same skill / difficulty, but with different problems.  Students take the first quiz individually, then you grade it (or have them peer grade) as either a "100" or an "Incomplete".  Students review their errors and try again repeatedly until all students have earned "100".  The author has the students that earn a "100" become teacher assistants, helping the other students (which reminds me of Amy Gruen's Green Pen idea).

So after reading about this strategy, I immediately starting pondering its use in my classroom, especially with the logistics.  I love the idea, but it would need to be quick / fast and not use a ton of classtime overall.  The author had the students peer grade, but I'm rather gun-shy about that practice to be honest.  

One thing I loved immediately about this strategy is its potential for formative assessment use.  I really dislike giving a formal quiz that I haven't already informally assessed via a Quick Check or Exit Ticket and provided student feedback.  Granted, this means a lot of grading on my part but quarter sized sheets go SO much faster than a full blown assessment! :)  This strategy has the potential benefit of allowing me to assess basic skills in a very low-stakes kind of way.

What topics could this be used with?  Pretty much anything that is skill based.  Overall, I think the quizzes could be pretty easily made using a worksheet generator (like Kuta)

For my classes:
  • Forensic Science - Reading calipers
  • Pre-Calc - Unit circle values; Graphing w/ transformations; so many skills!
  • AP Stat - Reading computer output & interpreting for LSRL; Identification of sampling methods; Minimum sample size; Normal probabilities; Again - so many ideas!!!
  • Geometry - Compass / straightedge constructions; Circle theorems; Surface Area / Volume

How would you use this strategy?  What are potential pitfalls that I've missed?  How would you handle the logistics?

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Oh, yes, for the unit circle values! I wish I had been a lot more dedicated to making sure all my students memorised them last year. On the exam, they said there was a question that needed them and a couple of students said they still hadn't learned them even after I hounded them over and over. I could have ensured their learning if I would have used some mini quizzes like you mention. Great idea.