Friday, June 24, 2016

Centers in High School Math?

I recently took a position at an Early College High School that is opening in my town.  I'll be the only math teacher the first year, and I'll be teaching Algebra 1 and Geometry.  Right now we're set to have about 70 freshmen next year and we'll add a class each year for the next three years.
With this new beginning comes renewed excitement and creativity.  I look forward to the fresh start that this opportunity provides!  One of the things I want to implement next year is centers, like what they have in elementary room classrooms.  Here's a rough description of how I picture this working.

I plan on returning to my flipped classroom.  So when students come to class, we'll do a quick debriefing of the video.  Then I'll have them complete a google form to pick which 3-4 centers they want to visit they day.  There's an add on for Google Forms called Choice Eliminator that will let me set how many students are allowed to choose a center during each rotation before the center is "full" and they have to choose something else.  If they didn't watch the video the night before, then one of the centers they'll need to sign up for is "Watch Flip Video", so hopefully this will encourage them to watch the video at home since they'll sacrifice a "fun" center in order to catch up.

Here's a list of ideas I've come up with for different centers I can use.  I obviously won't offer every option every day, but I can offer choices that are appropriate for the concept.

Review (over old concepts)
Activity (with partner or in group)
Explain (create GIF, video, infographic, etc. over concept)
One-on-one with teacher
Watch Flip video
Practice (solo) (worksheet, Kahoot!, Quizizz, Quizlet)
Math Art
Math Music
Reading (Joy of X, Math-themed books, articles)
Engineering/Robotics challenge
Programming/Coding challenge

Some centers might be required on certain days, or they may be required to choose between two, like "Practice" or "Activity" (working alone or with a partner or group).

At the end of class, we'd come back together for a closing question where I can use the "My Favorite No" activity to clear up any lingering misconceptions and to assess student understanding.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Anyone done anything like this and want to share your experience/wisdom?

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