I know for a fact that MOST if not ALL of my very weak math students will have forgotten everything when they return from winter break. Any suggestions to ease them back into learning mode? :help:

We may be going back tomorrow (or not, closings in our area for Monday and Tuesday are already rolling in), and our plan is to do an interactive review game to help students recall what we learned before break. The game involves the kids getting up out of their seat, moving around...hopefully that will jump start their bodies and minds to prepare for new material!

I'll be doing some math review games tomorrow as well. We do need to get to new material pretty quickly, but I'm not going to tackle it tomorrow.

If you are working on some sort of multi-step problem (such as word problems or finding slope and graphing it), we did something called "row races". You start the paper at the front of the row and that first person does the first step. Once done, they pass it backward and the second person does the second step. So on and so forth until the last person in the row solves the last step. Then the last person needs to get up and run to the front of the room and check the answer key for their team. The first row to finish (and be correct) wins. We would make up a worksheet with each step of the problem isolated in individual boxes so that each person knew what they were responsible for.

I did math review games! We played Jeopardy and this other game that my students really love. Basically, students are seated in rows and each row is a team. I put a problem on the board, and each student must solve the problem individually. I go to the first person in each row to check the answer. If the first person gets it right, it's 4 points. (assuming 5 students per row) If the student in front gets it wrong, I go to the student behind that student. If that student gets it correct, that team wins one less point. For each question, students must rotate. I like this game because it gets them out of their seats and moving.

My only question about that is this....what do they do when the other person is working on a step? Just sitting there waiting for the paper to come to them?

Well, we worried about this. However, working with competitive eighth graders, they were up out of their seat and cheering on their teammates. Most productive use of time? Maybe not. But it was good for morale. If you pick a "just right" problem (not too easy, not too hard), the whole process should run pretty smoothly and students won't be sitting there for 20 minutes waiting. I'd say that, from front to back, it took maybe 5 minutes for the paper to go from student to student? Not too long of a wait.