This activity is inspired first by Dylan Wiliam’s chapter on “Eliciting Evidence of Learner’s Achievement” in Embedded Formative Assessment. My approach to the task is inspired by Danny Brown’s (@dannytybrown) posts on noticing and listening (http://www.squeaktime.com/).
Instead of setting a pre-test before going into our unit on surds – which can deter students and also be difficult for teachers to draw meaningful evidence from – I gave year 11 the group based task below (groups of four). Very little input from me with the exception of a few guiding questions here and there.
After 25 minutes I had a huge amount of rich, qualitative data from student comments and I now feel that I can teach the entirety of surds from what they currently know. I can use their comments as a starting point for most discussions we’ll have over the next week. (It was also a good chance to revise a few topics from last year as well – indices and standard form).
You’ll notice that I stuck a few questions in there that might reveal a few misconceptions (not just with surds). Can you identify where some of the students may have gone wrong due to a misconception?