Epiphany: Speed Dating in Groups

So I really like using Kate’s Speed Dating as a review, but I always had problems: 1) setting up classroom 2) getting the rotation correct 3) having one kid that doesn’t understand the problem he has, EVEN THOUGH I TOLD YOU TO ASK ME BECAUSE YOU WERE ABOUT TO BECOME THE EXPERT. 4) Odd number of students 5) coming up with enough problems.

Last night I had an epiphany, I tried it out today, and it was GREAT!

Let’s do speed dating in GROUPS.

  1. Have everyone get a mini whiteboard and a marker.
  2. Give each group 2 copies of the same problem. I gave them these:

Alg II Equation Review Cards(file here). Last night, I didn’t have the mental ability to type the answers so they would come out on the correct card, so I just wrote them on the back. And look, I only had to make 7 cards!

3. Gave them four minutes to become the expert and I said I would answer questions at this time.

4. Had students count off 1-2-3-4 in their groups. Even Numbers were travelers, odd numbers stayed. The travelers traveled to the next group (clockwise), the pairs traded questions and then worked them. Three to four minutes later, repeat until you make it back to original group.

In all my classes, all of my students were working on the problems and helping each other out THE ENTIRE TIME. FOR REALSIES. And after, one class had time to start on their study guide and the conversation continued, which was awesome. This also helped with odd numbering: there were some groups where someone was absent so it was only one person that was the “expert” left in that group, but it turned out ok; they never had to sit a round out because it was by groups. It also helped with the issue where the one kid doesn’t know how to do the problem. Maybe this way if he hears the problem explained 7 times to different groups it will help! 🙂 The pairs worked great, too, they would talk to their original partner when starting, and if they got stuck, ask the other pair.  Plus I don’t know about you, but I’m much friendlier if I already know someone in a group rather than just being partnered with a stranger. Or maybe that’s just me. And of course the miniwhiteboards are a must; everyone can see what everyone is doing so easily!

And of course you need this timer (as recommended by Julie) to keep them honest!

And hey, guess what? If you’re reading this, you’ve made it through Monday. You’re awesome.

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8 comments on “Epiphany: Speed Dating in Groups

  1. Wow this is great! I have the same love/hate relationship with speed dating review so I love your idea!

    • It really cut down on the more stressful aspects of speed dating; hope you try it out!

  2. Meg! We’re on the same wavelength. I literally used a similar group rotation for Speed Dating last week. I was thinking of a way to have the activity generate better explanations and work with an odd number of students. I had even numbers travel around the room, but I gave them the choice of where they could go. Most groups ended up with 3 different problems each round, which worked well.

    • Cue twilight music!! Isn’t it funny how we all seem to have the same epiphany at the same time in the #MTBoS? 🙂

  3. Awesome idea Meg. Great way for me to switch it up a bit. I’m definitely adding to my toolbox!

    • Thanks! Always good to keep that toolbox filled. 🙂

  4. […] tips (lesson plans for whiteboarding, speed dating, solve-crumple-toss, or other techniques to increase student […]

  5. […] Have I told you how much I like doing group speed dating? […]

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