Sum It Up! 

Here is a small strategy I used for our review day today.

In Advanced Functions we were reviewing average rates of change and instantaneous rates of change.

Instead of just doing problems from the book I organized the rate problems in 4 sets, polynomial, rational, trigonometric, and exponential/logarithmic functions. Each set had 3 problems.

I organized the class in groups of 3 and gave each group a set. They were to complete the problems and check the answers.

The kicker here was that the sum of the 3 answers in a set was written on the board.


If the group got all questions correct their sum of their answers would match correctly. But…… If one was wrong they had to check all solutions and decide which needed fixing.

First, this small change made all groups work more carefully than usual. And second, when they had to double back, you could see them rationalizing which answers “had” to be correct and which answers were “toss ups”.

It was a great tool for students to self assess and evaluate their own readiness.

double desks

After each group completed a set they would swap with another group… Eventually completing all sets.

Show what you know in Gameshow!

IMG_3350Last week, Kyle Pearce wrote a post on running GameShow by KnowledgeHook. I was drawn to this idea mostly because of review time coming up and wanted a nice way to practice EQAO multiple choice type questions. GameShow is great for that. I love that it works on any device. Students can use their phones, iPads, laptops, etc to submit their answers.

Today I created a custom GameShow to practice simplifying algebraic expressions with my students. KnowledgeHook has a bank of questions already to go…..I just did some picking and choosing of questions I wanted to tackle and added them to my newly created custom gameshow.

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I stressed to my students to not worry about any time in the game. These multiple choice questions are not about speed. Let’s make them about accuracy. They played in teams of two with whiteboards beside their devices. I asked them to show full solutions on their whiteboards.


What was awesome while playing our GameShow today was that once students submit their answer they can upload a picture of their work!!!


On the teacher side, I could see how many solutions were uploaded for each answer option.Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 12.22.07 PMAs a class it was great to choose correct answers and analyze them. All answers are anonymous until the teacher clicks the reveal.  It was equally rewarding to analyze the incorrect answers and talk about how we can make them better!!! Students seeing each others’ solutions is powerful! 


Since I asked for all solutions to be uploaded the students started putting more effort into their answers! I find when we use other software like this, putting in an answer is like a game. “How fast can I get it in” Uploading slows it down and puts an emphasis on the solution! Like it!!! That’s the way a gameshow should be played!!!!

This program is super new so head on over to . It’s free. And has content build right in. Even if you’re not from Ontario you can have access to the free bank of Ready Made gameshows or create your own. You actually don’t even need to teach math to make use of the gameshow!!!

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Commit & Crumple!

Saw this activity in a book I picked up at the NCTM conference a few years back (Philadelphia).


This book has been great for engaging activities in math….here is the one we did today:

Commit & Crumple
We are reviewing for our exam and I wanted to review average rates of change and instantaneous rates of change. I wanted to see what they remembered…and also how they remembered the graphical representation of rates of change.
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