Monday, April 23, 2012

Math Confusion

      My idea for Math Confusion came from the fitness craze, Cross Fit. The goal with Cross Fit is to do many different activities in a short amount of time, switching it up so that your muscles never know what is coming next. You work out your arms, then do cardio, then do abs, then do legs...and repeat as many times as you are able to make it through the circuit. It makes your muscles stronger and burns more calories because the muscles are working harder when the exercises are not repetitive.

     So as we were coming back from a field trip one day, I thought about using the same idea for a math review. Math Confusion uses the same idea as Cross Fit. Students work on lots of different math concepts in a short amount of time. They rotate from station to station working on place value, fractions, multiplication, addition… They get 2 minutes at each station and must try to get as many questions right as possible. The Confusion continues until time is up. The goal is for students to make it through the circuit as many times as they can in the time allowed and to get as many cards right at each station as possible.

I created 11 stations 2 place value, 2 addition, 2 subtraction, 2 multiplication, 2 fraction, 1 number forms. I printed the circuit (instruction) card and activity cards on card stock and laminated them for safe keeping. I folded the circuit card in half and added Velcro to the inside to make a little pocket for the cards to fit in. All 11 stations fit nicely into a gallon Ziploc bag. 

I set the stations up so that none of the same skills are side by side, hence the CoNfUsIoN! Here is an example of how I set up the stations: 

Next I divide the students into groups of 2. Each group rotates from station to station spending 2 minutes at each station. There are 32 activity cards at each stations so it is rare for any group to finish a station before time is called. 

Here is how I explain the confusion to the students:
There are stations set up around the room. At each station, there is a set of cards face down. I am going to assign you to stations where you will sit and wait until I say go. When I say go, you are to turn over the first card and write, down the answer as quickly as you can. After you have written down the answer, turn the card upside down and check to see if you got it right. Remember, don’t cheat. If you cheat your muscles (brain) want get any bigger (smarter). If you get it right, put it off to the side. If you get it wrong, put it back into the deck of cards on the bottom. When I say stop, you must stop writing and count the cards you got right. Then place all the cards back in the deck face down, and return the station to how it was when you started. Do not rotate to the next station until I give the signal. When I give the signal, rotate to the next station. Sit down and don’t touch anything until I say to start. Remember, the goal is to get as many right at each station as you can and to get around to every station. Are there any questions?

This was one of the best reviews I have ever done in my classroom. It reviewed every concept in Numbers and Operation in less than a 30 minute period. Check it out at my TpT store! Download the free preview, or get it to use in your classroom. I was so pleased, and I am going to soon begin working on the Geometry, Measurement, and Algebra versions. 

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