Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Light Bulb Moments are NOT just for Kids...

I have them too!!! As I am sure you do as well!  And when that bulb goes off you automatically go.... DUH!!!! Why didn't I think of that earlier!?!?!

The old saying comes to mind.... 

Well that's the kinda day I had, and it will roll on like that for the rest of this week!  Here is what I did:

We have been covering factors, common factors, and GCF (greatest common factor) for the last 3 weeks including word problems asking to find the GCF.  (You would think they would know that 27 is not a prime number... and it has factors such as 3 and 9, but you would NOT BELIEVE how many of my students tell me it's a prime number!!!!  All I gotta say is after 3 weeks... I better not have 27 being prime anymore...I might pull out my hair....)  

What am I talking about?  Oh yes... my light bulb moment... sorry for the ADD time....

Anyway after spending 2 days on word problems using GCF, I told the students today that they would work with their table members (4kids) to come up with 2 word problems using GCF and 2-3 factors.  Each problem though would be written on a separate sheet of notebook paper. It could be as creative as they wanted, but the GCF had to be greater than 1.

After writing their word problem, they would have to show the answer along with a diagram showing what each group would look like. 

Here is one of their problems:
"In the haunted house there are 48 ghosts, 60 zombies, and 32 vampires.  What is the biggest amount of groups that they can be divided equally for a Halloween party?" 

Now why we need 12 ghosts, 15 zombies, and 8 vampires traveling in 4 groups to a party is beyond me...but I enjoy the fact that my students are challenging themselves with larger numbers, finding numbers with more than 2 common factors, and using key words in their word problem construction (divided, equally, groups).

Now here is where the light bulb went to major watt-use:

I informed them that one problem would be used during a station rotation review on Thursday.  Now they have 5 word problems that they can go and visit and practice on.  The other problem that they turned in would be used to make their Friday quiz!

HAHAHAHA!!! The students have become the teachers... making the problems... making the review... making the test!!!  I have turned into the master delegator, and I get to go around and monitor them and listen to their math discussions.  Totally smarter....not harder.... Lord knows I make my life harder than it has to be :)

Now I am starting to think.... where else can I make my students become the instructors???


  1. I love it!! I just finished that unit! My kids were having a hard time telling apart LCM and GCF word word problems. I definitely want to keep this in mind for next year!

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