Overheard from a Chemistry Teacher

I was in the main office the other day and I heard a chemistry teacher singing the praises of his Apple TV.  When reviewing homework (lots of math in chemistry), he asks students to mirror their iPads.  If a student has a question, he asks that student to mirror her iPad so the class can look at her work.  They work together to find the mistake and correct the problem.  Then they move on to the next one.  He said the students love sharing their work with the class and helping each other find mistakes … it’s like a puzzle (for the whole class to work on together).

Image

Their Work: More Interesting than Mine

Since Margaret was singing the praises of the killer combination of Apple TV and homework done on iPads earlier today, I thought I’d chime in.

I always struggle with how to review homework in pre-calc.  It’s easy for another student to share their answer with the class, but its usually more complicated than “x = 5,” and I really don’t think its that helpful for the rest of the class to hear the answer unless they can see it. When a student wants to talk about a problem they got wrong, what I have been doing is either projecting my solution or having a student project their correct solution to give us a visual for discussion, which was okay.

What I’m finding I like better is getting a student (or a couple of students) to project their entire assignment while we discuss the answers.  That way, we always have something to look at while we’re talking, because its hard to talk about math problems without seeing them, and, even if the student go something wrong, they can fix it in real time with my/the class’s input.  I think it’s really valuable for the rest of the class to see both the mistakes and the fixes.   I’m going to try this set up for going over homework more often.

Geometry Proofs: So Many Ways!

I teach Geometry.  My students struggle with the idea that there are lots of different ways to prove something.  What they really hate is that there isn’t one right answer.  I on the other hand get the most frustrated when a student is looking at a proof I have projected saying,  “I did something different … am I wrong?”

Prior to our 1:1 iPad environment, I would have said, “well let me come take a look” or “how about you write it on the board and we’ll look at it?” Oh the time I wasted waiting for kids to write on the board … oh the time I wasted looking at one kid’s work while the rest of the class stared off into the distance.

Enter Apple TV and students doing their homework in Notability on their iPads. Now I say, “could you mirror your iPad and we’ll look at your proof together as a class?”  Within seconds, the whole class is looking at an alternative method of proving something.  Sometimes  it’s right.  Sometimes it needs to be tweaked.  Other times, it’s way off.  But regardless, we get to look at several different proofs for each problem and still have class time left to do something else!