Saturday, April 30, 2011

WCYDWT - Wii Bowling Day One

My Math 1 students finished their test with a lot of time to spare, so I put up the Wii Bowling pictures I had taken (see this post) and had them take out a piece of paper. I asked them to write down what they noticed and wondered about what they saw in the pictures (similar to what @maxmathforum suggested in this post). My thought with starting with it today was to get an idea where they were at and try to come up with a game plan for Monday. Here are the responses I got (and not everyone responded):

Class One:
  • Why is Mommy still pro when Grace has higher points than Mommy?
  • Why can't we play bowling in math?
  • Why is there only one pro?
  • The numbers change
  • Only 1 is pro
  • highest number is 1005
  • lowest is 65
  • different scores on both games
  • Why is there an arrow point down by your name then on the second its pointing up"
  • What are the negative and positive numbers beside the names?
  • I wonder how bad I'd beat you in Wii bowling.
  • I'm wondering how you got a pictre of that on your computer.
  • A couple of students wrote what was on the slides (number-wise)

Class Two:
  • The first game you lost but your skills points was the most but you won the second game but had the same amount of points.
  • Cade's skill in the first game went up. Second game it went down.
  • Mom dropped from pro by 62, then she went up by 8 and made it back.
  • Why do you have a higher skill level than your kids?
  • How old are each of the people?
  • Who's best?
  • The arrow on the first screen is going up on "Mommy."
  • Your daughter wont he first round.
  • You went down 62 points.
  • You weren't pro the first game, then you were the second?
  • It says you are 1,000 pro but your score is 997.
  • You have more points but you did not win.
  • Did you play again?
  • What are your averages?
  • How many open frames did you have? (Note - I layered the pictures so they could not see the individual frames.)
  • What happened with the skill level?          \
  • What is this about?                                      These three questions are all by the same student.
  • How many points did you go up? Down?  /
  • What do you usually bowl?
  • How many points did you go up from the first game?
  • What does Grace usually bowl?
  • Does Cade practice?
  • Why did you get better also you played?
  • Is it about math?
  • How did you level up to a pro?                   \
  • Was it easy to level up?                                \
  • Was it fun beating your kids?                         \
  • How good of a bowler are you in real life?     / These statements are all from the same student.
  • I noticed you leveled up to a pro!                  /
  • You lost to your kids?                                  /
  • I play Wii and I know what all of it means.
  • Why are you red?
  • Who's Grace?
  • Who's better at the game?
  • In this class I had a couple of students who wrote question marks or that they were confused.
 I feel like this went nowhere. There were a couple of students in the second class who asked some questions that we might be able to take somewhere. Most of my students in my first class have no clue and/or didn't follow directions (I only had papers from about half). The whole process of getting them to write questions was incredibly slow and painful - I had no idea what else to ask them or say to get them to come up with (math-related) questions and I didn't want to put any ideas in their head of what they were supposed to be asking. I look at this list and I feel like I didn't do something "right" or somewhere I missed the boat. This really reinforced for me that I need to read what others have done with WCYDWT this weekend as I reflect and regroup.

Here's the real problem for me at this point - I have no clue where to take this from here. My original thought was to have them bowl as "guests" on my Wii to get some scores from scratch but we'd have to be able to complete bowling during the (50 minute) class period to get data for them to work with. I had thought about dividing them into teams and having each person on the team bowl a frame so that everyone would have a chance to play. I'm not sure how many games we'd get through, but I could take my camera and take similar pictures as I did at home. Then the following day in class we could (hopefully) do something with the data. But again, I have no clue what do after this. I was hopeful to have some more mathematical questions.

It's late, but I wanted to get the thoughts out while they were still somewhat current in my mind. I'll continue to add to this as I have more time to ponder. I am certainly open to any suggestions and comments.


misscalcul8 said...

It's always slow going when you try something new for the first time. Don't give up! You totally rocked these kids' world! It's like you asked them to sing in German or something. Some of them probably wondered things but didn't know what the 'right answer' was or didn't know what you wanted them to say. I like to do these type of things verbally rather than on paper. I want students to see that at the beginning everyone is just as confused as they are. When people start to respond, other people will feed off that and join in. I like to prompt them with "What else?" I think by continually asking that I am showing them that there is no one right answer and if I push them for more then they will push their brains to notice more. Well, that's what I assume is happening anyway.

Then ask them "What do you think this has to do with math?" You might be surprised what they answer and it might help lead you into where to go next.

Another idea is to maybe show them a shot where the pins have are lying down and ask them to predict whose turn it was based on the scores they've already seen?

And please don't take this harshly but maybe you should have started with a WCYDWT that has already been done so that you know the setup, the answer, and how to guide the students into seeing what you want them to see.

Lisa said...

I realize I probably should have started with something that has already been done before, but I felt that with this using the Wii, I had some good buy in from the kids. And I did have some good interest from them because it was the Wii, but as they struggled with coming up with stuff, I lost them. I still believe I have a good hook, now just need for them to go somewhere with it.

Thanks for your encouragement, misscalcul8. I appreciate it!

Sarah said...

I think you have some decent starts to questions. Remember you students aren't trained to think this way. They are usually trying to figure out what you are looking for.

Some good starting points I saw...

What is your average? An opportunity to discuss measure of center.

How old are the players? Tweak it... why does age matter? Is there a relationship between age and bowling ability on the Wii? Collect data and test it.

If I remember correctly, your thought was for them to connect points to leveling up. I'll have to go back and reread. If that's specifically what you want, you can always "plant" that question. Mention to 1st period that 3rd period made this observation or asked this question and what do you think about it.

Good Luck!

Lisa said...

After some pondering time today, here's where I'm at for Monday:

I think I'm going to divide them into 4 teams (I have about 20 students in each class) so that everyone will have a chance to Wii Bowl. I am going to set up Miis for each class - just call them Per1Team1, Per1Team2, etc. so that we have something to store the data in. I'll have my digital camera with me so I can take pictures of the ending screens like I did at home. Probably will have them bowl (hopefully 2 games) the first day. If there is time, do the asking of what they wonder and have them write it down first, then share before collecting them. Take what they come up with and go from there.

Right now one of the scariest things for me is to not really have much of a plan. I'm not sure where this is going to head but I think they'll be more engaged because they'll have some buy in from the game.


Max said...

Will you tell your class on Monday that as a person who's noticed and wondered about math with a LOT of students, I'm impressed with what they got on their first try! They noticed a lot of relationships between Skill Level and Points and wondered very mathematical things, like, "Why is Mommy still pro when Grace has higher points than Mommy?"or "Why is there only one pro?" or "The first game you lost but your skills points was the most but you won the second game but had the same amount of points." or "Mom dropped from pro by 62, then she went up by 8 and made it back."

Those are very awesome noticings and wonderings and pretty sophisticated ways of looking for relationships, I feel...

It also seems like the most interesting area kids want to explore (besides wanting to actually bowl) is the one you're interested in too... It doesn't seem intuitive the way skill level is calculated from points. Is it fair? How does it work? How do I become pro?

Collecting data tomorrow sounds like a good plan to me. One thing I know Dan Meyer does to keep kids engaged mathematically (not just 'cause they're bowling) is to get them to make predictions. Maybe having them predict their score, and then how that score will be translated to a skill level, before they bowl would be a good start? After they generate some data then maybe having them predict from scores what skill levels might be?

Here's my biggest wondering... How do *we* think the score is being calculated. Lisa, you said you thought it was linear? I'm wondering if there are multiple variables involved. Like, could it be points per roll? Or something complicated 20*strikes + 10*spares + points - 20*gutterballs? How would we figure out the rule if it is, in fact, multivariate? And do we need to collect data that isolates certain variables? Like trying to bowl with no gutterballs or no strikes? Trying to hit exactly 3 pins with each roll?

This is an interesting scenario and could turn up fascinating data. I hope you'll share the data and what the kids notice and wonder about it!


Suzanne said...

Hi Lisa,

Considering that this is something new that you've asked your students to do for you, there are a lot of things that they noticed that could lead to interesting conversations and they've also wondered a lot of things!

I'm a colleague of Max's and I've also been working in classrooms (mainly middle school) using Noticing and Wondering. One story I can tell is that I've been working since September of this school year with a 6th grade teacher. She asked me to "model" the idea of Noticing/Wondering in her classroom. Over the span of a month every other week or so I would model it using something from the math curriculum (they use Math in Context -- there are a lot of opportunities) and also sometimes I would bring a Problem of the Week that I thought was particularly aligned or just one that I thought would be fun. Each time I would try it, the teacher and I would debrief and then one day she said she was ready to try it while I was in the room.

After her first try we talked about how it had gone and she said, "I think it was different when I tried it." Another week passed and she was continuing to try things between my visits. This visit, I suddenly realized what it was. She was listening "for" the students' responses and I was listening "to" their responses. It seems like a very small difference....just the little words "for" and "to" but it can completely change the experience.

When I do a noticing/wondering activity I do not have a hidden agenda. I honestly want to listen to the students to hear what they're thinking. Yes, I definitely have a math agenda but it's pretty wide open. To give the teacher her due, she's under a lot of pressure to have her students perform well on the standardized tests. It's completely understandable that she would have an agenda and want to get to it as quickly as possible. Is this how students learn best? Maybe not.

I wonder if relaxing a little and assuming (as Max pointed out) that your students are GREAT noticers and wonderers, if that's the key!

I'm looking forward to hear about what happens tomorrow as you continue on this path. What a cool idea to use the Wii! I love it.


Lisa said...

Thanks Max and Suzanne for your comments. Having never done this before, I have no idea what to expect. Suzanne, your comments about listening "for" vs. "to" made SO much sense. I think I was listening "for" specific things rather than listening "to" what my students came up with. I think, too, I was dwelling on the "off topic" responses (and several students who didn't respond). I am seeing from both of your remarks what I should be focusing on - and definitely looking at the positives in this rather than the negatives. That shift in attitude will help I think also.

My second class definitely had better observations. I don't think I really said anything different between the two classes. I hope that tomorrow they'll come up with some good observations.

Thanks again to everyone for taking the time to read and comment. More tomorrow...

Annie said...

Hey, Lisa. Sorry to be a little late to the party. I look forward to hearing about how today went.

I work with Max and Suzanne as well, and do a lot of noticing and wondering with kids. I agree that your kids came up with a lot of great ideas! Last month I started working with two classes of fifth graders who were mostly new to the process. One thing we have done after generating a list like yours is to look at the list and talk about which wonderings we could actually answer, mathematically, based on the "math story" (which is your screenshots). This helps us politely weed out some of the things that aren't really relevant and are a little off topic. We would also pick out things that we could answer if only we had a little more information, and what that information would be. That seems like a good fit for your situation. I wonder if anything they were initially wondering about will be answered after today's explorations!


Dan Meyer said...

Hi Lisa, thanks for sharing your struggle. I have never played Wii bowling, so I'm hesitant to weigh in here.

Here's one remark from my own practice, though. If I put a video or a photo up in front of my students and they don't quickly rally around a single question (with some of them off on their own fun tangents) I force myself to rethink the whole problem.

Consider these:

Will it hit the hoop?
How many tickets are there?
How long will it take Chris and Dan to fill up the cup?

It takes some work to create images and photos that ask questions without you asking them. If you can't identify a single, concise, guessable question that interests you about the Wii screenshots, I don't expect your students will either.

So what question would you like to approach here? My sense is that you have the makings of a much more interesting version of "The average of Teri's last five tests is 70%. Then she scores a 65%, a 80%, a 100%. What is her new average?"

I think I see a way we could get students to wonder that question about your bowling score without you lifting a finger in class. Before I go any further, I don't want to assume I haven't missed the point. I'd like to see what you think about this.

Thanks again for sharing.