Yesterday, I discussed three techniques designed to help students learn their multiplication facts. One of them struck me as a method, I could easily use in my classroom to help students learn certain processes which are applied in a variety of situations.
The method is known as Cut, Copy, Compare where a worksheet is divided into two columns. The problems are worked out in the left column while the right column is empty.
Students are asked to study the problem with the answer on the left side. When they think they know it, they cover the problem and write it on the right side, then they check their work. If they are correct, they may move on to the next problem, if not, they continue to study the problem before trying again.
I've noticed areas where I can do more to ensure they know how to do something but I don't always have ways to help them learn it better but this method might work well with the following topics.
1. The rules of exponents. I don't spend enough time making sure they know the rules. They've gotten these same rules in middle school but I don't believe their teacher takes the time to ensure they really know the rules. Its important to know the rules of exponents for logs and natural logs since they use them extensively.
2. Solving one step equations is another area this might work. Most of the time we have students practice solving problem after problem without taking time to have them study the process. I've seen time after time where students need immediate feedback so they learn to do it correctly rather than learning it wrong.
3. Solving two step equations once they've learned to solve one step.
4. Combining like terms
5. Solving algebraic fractions - review the basic rules for solving fractions with unlike denominators before solving algebraic fractions.
6. Trigonometric ratios - could include solving to find the missing angle or side, the Law of Sines or Law of Cosines.
These are just a few I thought of, in 5 minutes. I am due to teach a Fundamentals of Math for students who seem to be missing the basics and struggle. I see this method as great for having students practice working with fractions or decimals. My next step is to figure out how to use it digitally so my students do not lose their papers.
Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from people.