Students CREATING “worksheets”

A fun flip we did to work on solving probability problems was to have the SOLE system groups create the problems instead of solving someone else’s problems.  A new, interesting set of skills comes into play with this sort of challenge.  I asked them to think like a teacher and create a “worksheet” that looked interesting and incorporated a problem that could be explained or proved with fraction probabilities.  Ten minutes later and voila!  I had a set of six problems that were unique.

As a follow up, we then completed a carousel where groups rotated from SOLE station to SOLE station to identify the fraction probabilities.  They were really interested in seeing what the other groups came up with.

Finally, students used our growth mindset language anchor chart to discuss with each other the ways in which they could improve their problem should they be given the task again.  Groups shared their reflections.  Altogether, this task took about 30 minutes. The bang for the buck made it worth it as there were so many skillsets being developed at once.  I would ‘flip’ a task like this again as it not only had students solidify a curriculum content area, but provided opportunity for usage of cooperation skills, media design, and reflection (self evaluation) skills.

As a side note, I increasingly feel a little pang of guilt every time I have students use a worksheet.  They still serve a purpose, from time to time, in a classroom.  When possible, however, I scan any tasks that used to be paper based and have groups complete the tasks collaboratively and paperlessly.  It generates important conversation and fosters student reflection, dialogue and debate.  Students talking about learning trumps teachers talking about learning.  Having students creating the worksheet really pushes this task up Bloom’s Taxonomy scale! (Nerdy teacher-speak for deeper learning!)