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Educreations for Error Analysis in Math

March 5, 2013

Over the past few days, my students and I have been struggling with their understanding of how to calculate the area of irregular shapes. Despite their solid knowledge of the formulas and a deep understanding of how to decompose shapes, many of them struggled with how to find the missing measurements when given a few, but not all, measurements of a shape. My frustration led to the creation of an activity that is almost complete student-directed, freeing me up to answer questions and correct misconceptions immediately because I was not tied down checking student answers.

This ended up working very well and I anticipate being able to recreate this activity in the future with other topics.

Objective: Students can calculate the area of irregular shapes as evidenced by their Educreations Reflections.

Teacher preparation:

  1. Create a few practice problems. I ended up using 7 shapes, which was enough to last for about 2 full class periods. You can find my irregular shape practice questions here.
  2. Use Educreations to create a video explaining how to solve each problem. This was the most time-intensive part for me, but still only took about 45 minutes to work out all of the problems. Save the videos to your account.
  3. Log in to your Educreations account and get the unique link for each video.
  4. Create a QR Code for each video. (Here are my QR Codes for the practice shapes. Scan them to see the videos I used.)
  5. Post the QR Codes around the classroom.
  6. Copy practice problems. I made about three copies of each, then put them in clear sheet protectors so students could use dry erase markers to work the problems. Saved me some precious paper!
  7. Copy the reflection sheet. This is the most important part, in my opinion. I stressed to students that I was less concerned about a right answer and more concerned about their ability to pinpoint where they made mistakes. Here is the reflection sheet I used.

Student activity:

  1. Choose a shape/practice problem and solve it.
  2. Record their answer on the reflection sheet.
  3. Go to the corresponding QR code and scan it.
  4. Watch the Educreations video and compare it to their own work.
  5. Reflect on how their work differed from the teacher example and write this reflection.
  6. Create a goal of something they will do differently on the next problem.
  7. Choose a new shape and start at #1!
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