Monday, May 20, 2013

Quizzes To Develop Communication Skills

Students sitting a Mathematics C exam.
Sitting a Maths exam (Wikipedia)
by Richard D Boyce

All subjects we teach have their own language and terminology.

These help communicate meaning to what children learn and help them communicate what they have learnt more effectively.

Consequently, we, as teachers, need to teach and test the language/terminology of our subject areas.

The quiz in its various forms is a way to enhance that learning in a time efficient and fun way.

Mathematics has always been an area where the quiz has been used to great effect. Below are examples of how it can be used in Mathematics as an example for other teaching areas.

1. Subject Language/Terminology Quiz

Here the teacher simply gives students a series of terms. The students write out in their own words an explanation of each term.

e.g.: concurrent parallel congruent collinear skew (Maths) constellation galaxy planet satellite orbit (Science) revolution democracy nationalism parliament cabinet (Hist.)

Students should be encouraged to use other subject terms/words to help explain what the terms mean. Diagrams should be encouraged to enhance explanations.

2. Terms Quiz

This really is the reverse of the Language Quiz above. Here the teacher gives a "definition" and asks the students to give the appropriate term to fit the definition.

e.g.: (i) Lines which meet at the same point are said to be (Concurrent)

- What name do we give to numbers which are non-terminating, non-recurring decimals? (Irrational Numbers)
- What name do we use to describe figures in Geometry which have congruent angles in one to one correspondence but no equal sides? (Similar Figures)
- What names do we give to the ratio of vertical change to horizontal change? (Gradient, Slope, Tangent of an Angle)
- Name the part of Mathematics which studies the relationship of the angles of a right-triangle with the sides of that triangle. (Trigonometry)

3. Spelling Test

Students must be encouraged to use terms correctly in the justification process which has become an important part of modern teaching. This means that the spelling of terms must be seen as important as well.

During my own school years and in my early teaching years, our teachers often broke up words into their parts. They explained what each part meant and how the word got its meaning. We should retain this idea:

I run adjective ending
e.g.: con / curr / ent
Prefix - "with or together"
Therefore "concurrent" literally means, "I run together".

Obviously, these spelling tests should be included when the topic is revisited or after it has been taught. These tests should not be more than five questions at a time.

Other ways to improve spelling of the terms of the subject include:

1. A list of incorrectly spelt terms and ask student to write out the list correctly.
e.g.: Rewrite the Maths terms, spelling them correctly:
i) equotion (ii) paralel (iii) multiplication
(iv) numarel (v) integer

2. A list of say '5' spelt a number of ways and ask student to select the correct one.
e.g.: Read each list of Maths terms and select the one correctly spelt:
(i) intecept; intercept; intecerpt; intencept
(ii) equation; equtation; equotion; equitation
(iii) linner; linear; linnear; lionear
(iv) function; funition; function; founction
(v) quadatic; quadratic; quodratic; quodrotic

4. Symbols Quiz

This is an excellent way to revise work in Geometry and to ensure symbols in proofs/explanations/working answers are well understood and used correctly.

e. g. Explain what each of the following symbols mean in Geometry:

or In the following Mathematical equations a symbol has been used incorrectly or has been omitted. Cross out the incorrect symbol and replace it with the correct one or add the missing one, e.g.:
(a) 6... 4 + 3 = 100... 5... 7
(b) 6... (4 - 3 ^ 42

or In Chemistry, you could test the chemical symbols.

or In physics, you could test the accuracy of formulae.

or In English, you could test abbreviations.

This article explains one of a series of different types of quizzes that our author has used, to great effect, during his career in high school classrooms.

In his early career, he taught several subjects to junior high school classes where he learnt the art of using the quiz as a revision tool and as an introduction to a new topic where he reviewed past knowledge.

You will find two eBooks on his website explaining his use of different types of quizzes. The titles are, "The Quiz in Middle School Mathematics" and "The Quiz as a Teaching Strategy".

Article Source:

Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment