Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Version of Log Wars

Today in Algebra 2, we did my version of Logarithm War. For the uninitiated, here is the post from Kate Nowak with her version. With my Algebra 2 students, my goal was to have them practice solving for x in a logarithmic equation. If you've read my blog as of late, I have been very frustrated with their lack of arithmetic skills, especially with regards to powers lately.  What I did was have them get into pairs and grab whiteboards. There are 36 cards (so if I had an odd number of students, there could be a group of 3 and still divide the piles into equal numbers) and they were divide the cards into equal piles. Each student was to work out their problem and the person with the highest answer got the cards. If they were equal, they were to lay down another card face down and then a 3rd card face up, which they were to work out to determine the winner. Winner of each pair at the end of the period got a blow pop.

Here are the cards I used:

Thoughts from today -

  • As usual, my Advanced Algebra 2 students were the most enthusiastic about this. They were certainly the loudest group of the 4. 
  • Pairs in two of my classes thought the winner of the "hand" should be who got their answer correct first instead of who had the highest answer. Thoughts for a variation, maybe? I didn't want to emphasize speed today but accuracy instead.
  • Most everyone participated. I had one pair in one class who didn't do more than maybe 4 pairs. "I already knew how to do it," was one of the students' comment in that pair. That student took away practice from his/her partner which wasn't helpful to him/her. :-( Even my lowest ability students did participate (although, again, maybe not as much as I would have liked, but at May 17th, I'll take whatever I can get).
  • I was able to get around and help many students who needed help getting started. Once they got going, they were involved and it worked well.
  • However, in all of my regular Algebra 2 classes, they stopped after going through the pack once. My last regular Algebra 2 class had a couple of pairs who kept going and in my Advanced Algebra 2 class, they kept going until I told them to quit. I could add cards and make a larger pack, but I'm not sure if I'm going to head there.
  • Overall, it was a good activity and worth doing.
I should also add that I used Amy Gruen's Loop for Logs as a teaching aid for changing from logarithmic form to exponential form. It works very well and I am grateful for this great idea. If you haven't checked out her blog before, there are lots of good things there - stop and take a look!


math fractions said...

Your way to describe log are new and fresh,these type of techniques make maths easy,I want to discuss a simple definition of calculus as-Calculus is the study of how the things change with keeping the main focus on:
1.Rate of change
Calculus is divided into two categories that is differential calculus (also known as rate of change) and integral calculus (also known as accumulation) and fundamental theorem of calculus connects both of them.

Amy Gruen said...

Thank you for the mention, Lisa! I know that motivation is especially difficult this time of year. Great job keeping your students focused until the end! Amy

Amy Gruen said...

P.S. I forgot to mention that I like the way you varied the location of the X in your cards. I also like that you had the students verify their work on white boards, hopefully reducing the number of passive participants. Nicely done!

Unknown said...

I used your cards in my Honors Algebra II class this week. The students loved the activity and I think the practice really helped them!! Thanks.

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