Yesterday I taught my class how to solve quadratic equations. When they entered my classroom today I tried a new approach to my warmups. The following was written on my board:

Solve the following problem using any of the resources found in this room. The only resources you may not use are me or my computer (computer was a verbal add-on because of a teenager found loop-hole, LOL).

2x^{2} – 5x = 3

where x = 3 and x = -1/2

1. How does this problem look different from yesterday’s problems?

How can you change it to look like yesterday’s?

2. Don’t forget to use the “Over-Under Method”.

3. Solve this problem using the Box Method.

Solve this problem using the T-Chart Method.

4. Is {-1/2, 3} a correct solution?

Before school I re-arranged my student tables so there were three in a group. I told students they could sit wherever they wanted but to make wise choices. It was interesting to see were they sat. When they first started working on this warmup they either worked alone or with their table mates. Some of them got out the individual dry erase boards to work on. But eventually when they realized that I wasn’t going to help them (but I was circulating through the room) they started to branch out to others. Some would go to one table, ask for help, and then go back to their table and explain to their table mates. Once I felt that most of them had the correct answer I pulled them together as a class. I told them that one of their resources would be to use the classroom dry erase board and ask someone to explain the work to them. At this point several kids wanted to go up front and work the problem.

In my second block class I was moved to tears (well, almost!) when one of my students, who never does well, went up to the board with several others and explained how he did the problem. A teacher’s dream come true!!!

Once I was sure that everyone understood the warmup problem I had them all log into the Navigator. I posted three different problems (similar to the warmup) on my digital white board. Each person in the group had to solve a different problem. They worked their individual problems on dry erase boards at their table. When they had an answer they had to type the equation and their answers on the home screen of their calculator. I then used the Navigator to do a Get Screen and was able to print out the entire class’s individual answers on one piece of paper. Below is an example of an individual student’s answer (it is the warmup).

I have them turn answers in electronically all the time. It is the same thing as writting it on paper but they seem to think that there is more “magic” involved and they all do it and do it better! Go Figure!