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.

Here’s what we did…
They were told to not put their name on the paper they were about to get. I handed out this ….

Screen Shot 2014-06-14 at 8.27.17 AM

I said….

You have 8 minutes to write an answer to this communication question. Please do this independently….GO!

They all wrote answers.

Once you are satisfied with your answer crumple the paper up….and throw it at me!

They were pretty excited about this part and I had to duck, dip, and dive!

I asked them now to go get one of the papers off the floor. We tossed again.

After they picked up a paper again i said..

now unwrap your paper like a Christmas present….read what is there. Judge the answer on accuracy and communication. THEN- find a partner and read the response to them.


Students took turns reading the responses and they had meaningful discussions around the accuracy of the responses.

I said …

Once you’ve shared…if you like or think the response is good then take a picture of it with your phone….so you have a copy.

We then all crumpled them back up and tossed again!
We repeated the process a few times. The students saw different responses and got better at judging good ones.


After a few rounds I asked them to read out loud to the class any one they thought was exceptional (this is why the phone pic worked great) a few students read the “good” ones and said why they were good.

After a class discussion on a good answer we then set up stations to practice finding rates of change algebraically.

Here were my thoughts after:
1. We reviewed a concept and I didn’t have to stand up and go over it.
2. They assessed peer work— this is why the no names worked great.
3. They self assessed their own work. Students were reading the responses and comparing their response to it.
4. They got to throw paper at me many times! This was fun.

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