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Sometimes, it is okay to give them a worksheet

One day recently (I am behind, I think this was Day 96), I had a thought after teaching two classes of Algebra 1:

Sometimes students need to sit down and do a worksheet.

I spend a lot of time trying to make class engaging and fun. I love playing games, getting them out of their seats and using the white boards to do group PrBL... They reflect, instruct, and create via their digital portfolios. I regularly feel guilty when class is just a practice set.

The day I had this thought though, class wasn't boring. Students were working on a (massed) problem set in pairs. The pairs were in sync, having great discussions, teaching each other the ins and outs of various factoring problems. I had pairs come to the document camera to present a few problems and they were comparing other problems with their corresponding graphs on Desmos. The last ten minutes of class was a low stakes assessment.

Could it have been better? Sure. But I don't think I will do anything differently next year.

Oh and I just realized that I have to add two more items to my "to blog" list: an update on standards based grading in Algebra and my new obsession with Make it Stick