speed dating

So I am going to toot my own horn for a second.  If you don’t like bragging, please stop reading now.

I love teaching at Nevada Middle School.  I feel like I have become a fantastic teacher this year.  And it feels really good because my principals recognize it and tell me that I am a good teacher.

Two weeks ago I had an unannounced formal observation.  It was one of those days that I wasn’t really “into it.”  I was giving a test the next day and felt like I needed to review but was totally uninspired to be engaging.  I had a study guide/practice ready for the kids and I was just going to have them work on it in class and give them the answers at the end so they could study at home.

My first hour class is really small and many of those students struggle with math.  I decided to let them work together on the assignment.  They picked a partner and started working talking.  After about 5 minutes I told them all to find a new partner because they were not doing what they were supposed to do.  They got new partners and worked (a little).  I told them to switch again and they worked a little more.

One little girl said to me “This is fun.”
Me “What is fun?”
LG “You making us switch partners every few minutes.”
M: “Uh…”
Her partner “Yeah.  I like talking to other people to get help rather than the same person every time.”

Apparently they didn’t realize I was switching them up because they were getting off task.  This conversation did lead to a bit of inspiration.

During second hour I did the same review and I decided to let them work in pairs.  Only this time it was more formal.  I made 2 circles out of the desks and I set a timer for them to rotate every 5 minutes.  By third hour I named it: Speed Dating.

Good thing I came up with a good name because that is when my principal showed up for my unannounced observation.  My kids were perfect.  They were engaged (the currently trendy buzzword).  They were helping each other understand how to find the volume of a pyramid and the surface area of a cone.  It was great.  (and the test the next day showed that it may have worked because they did really well!)

I got an awesome review and will have a job next year.  whew!

But here is the best part.  During Tiger Pride on Wednesday (that is our PLC time- half the staff meets on one Wednesday while the other half supervises AR time then we switch the next week) I was told that the principal bragged on me and the speed dating activity.  This week I have heard that 3 of my fellow math teachers have been “speed dating in class and I just walked by a language arts class that was speed dating!  My idea is being used all over!  I am pumped.

Do you speed date in your classroom?  What innovative ideas are you using to make your teaching meaningful?  Can I borrow them (please- I will give you credit for the idea).

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “speed dating

  1. Patty Donaldson

    Great activity Casey. Some of our best laid plans weren’t really plans at all 🙂

  2. Kate

    You are an awesome teacher Casey!

  3. Lisa Muehlbauer

    I am so stealing this……the next day I am going to review with my Hip Hop review….while going over the questions, pick a stick and if the student gets it right they add a dance move…then the entire class does the move….by the end of class we have a fun and engaging dance routine.

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