|When kids get stuck on a card I give them a |
hint to help out based on the 24 game strategy.
My hint for this would be "6x4=24". It's almost
always enough direction to help guide them.
My third class, however, which is 11th graders that struggle, LOVED it. There is one kid that puts his head down a lot when he gets frustrated. It seems that he's used to not doing great and I think he's used to giving up. But the thing is that he's intelligent when he puts his mind to it. So he walks in and lights up and tells me he knows all about this game and has played a lot before.
When it came time to play I told him that it was his job to teach everyone how to play and make sure they ALL understood it before we started. He was thrilled and came right up in front and started to explain while I helped kids with their notebooks. At one point another kid joined him and they did an amazing job at explaining. They used the example I had on the board and then they pulled another couple cards and did more examples with the class. They used questioning JUST like I would. I honestly didn't even catch it all because they did such a good job that I was really able to completely focus on helping kids. I did however hear the following:
- "Ok now what about these new numbers? How could we do the same thing and get these 4 numbers to equal 24?"
- "What if I only put these 3 numbers up? What could you use as a fourth number to get 24?
(seriously how awesome are they!?!)
Stuff like this is what I loveeeeee. When things like this happen I really just walk around with a huge grin on my face the whole time thinking to myself "ahhh..I love what is happening right now." Having that kid teach was far from my plan for the day but sometimes you have to go with the flow when the opportunity arises. I had also planned to have them rotate but they were so into their games that I didn't even bother. My best days are pretty much always days like this- completely unplanned.
Also worth mentioning I think is that often the best way to motivate a typically unmotivated student is to make them feel successful, even if it's a very minor success. Start small and hopefully it will get that head up off the desk long enough to get them involved and feeling good about them self. I could expand upon this quite a bit because it's a topic that is very important and personal to me so I'll save that one for another day...