Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Flyswatter Activity

I set a personal goal for myself this year to try and reduce the number of book assignments and worksheets I did and instead replace them with activities that, while they could use the same problems as before, would be more engaging to my students and would allow me to do more informal assessment.
One of my favorite activities has been the "flyswatter activity".  I got this idea from Pinterest (a real surprise to anyone who knows me, I'm sure!).
First, I printed out a whole bunch of these bug outlines.  I have 8 groups of 4 in my class, and to give me the option to have up to 15 bugs in an activity, I printed out 90 bugs!  I had my teacher's aides cut them out and laminate them so I could reuse them.
Bug Outline 1
Bug Outline 2

Today I'm doing function/not a function with them, so each group only needs two bugs - one with "function" written on it and one with "not a function" written on it.
I found flyswatters 2 for $1 at wal mart, so each student gets a flyswatter.
The groups put the bugs out in the middle of their desks where everyone can see and reach them, then one at a time, I'll place a set of ordered pairs, a table, a graph, or an equation under the document camera.  The first person to correctly identify it as "function" or "not a function" by slapping the corresponding bug with their flyswatter gets 2 points.  Everyone who correctly identifies it but isn't the first, gets 1 point.  Anyone who gets it wrong loses a point.  I give some sort of prize to the person in each group who gets the most points (they keep up with the points in their groups themselves).
I teach juniors and seniors and they LOVE this!  It works best with problems that can be done quickly and preferably in their heads.  I did it earlier in the year with trig values for the special angles on the unit circle.  I highly recommend it as a way to rework a worksheet into something much more engaging and fun!
Here are the worksheets I cut up for today's activity:
Function/Not a Function WS 1
Function/Not a Function WS 2

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