They began a movie yesterday called The Story of 1 in a lesson with the same name, in which they are completing Movie notes the story of one that they started yesterday. I am showing the movie not so much for the content, but because primarily to generate & reward curiosity and questioning. We recently worked on a long term problem called "Consecutive Sums" that we have worked on in previous lessons (Number System Assessment, Garden Design, & Power of Factors ) in which students needed to figure out what kinds of numbers could not be made by adding positive consecutive whole numbers. We found that we couldn't make the number 1 or any of the powers of 2. This created a lot of curiosity about the number 1 and it's relationship to the other numbers, which is what the movie is about.
As my students watch the movie I am also asking them to look for evidence for and against three statements I have given them in a table. This is a way of helping them learn more about supporting claims with evidence and looking for evidence in resource materials which is an important element of argumentation. In addition I ask them to write down something they learned, something that surprised them, and something they wonder about while watching the movie. This helps to connect them to their natural curiosity about math and also helps them generate questions for possible further investigation.
While students are watching the movie and taking notes I am circulating and checking their progress on the Take home practice test distributive common mistakes and redirect they started working on last night for homework. Some students need simple reminders, others may still need more intensive intervention. Some students choose to work on their practice test and raise their hand for me to come back to them and check their corrections.I have also told them that if they have only minor corrections to make to their practice test they can try to factor problems 10, 11, & 12 after simplifying it for extra credit. Doing this during a movie is a way for me to differentiate and provide individual instructive feedback at whatever level each student needs.
I had originally made the notes as a way to make them accountable for watching a movie in class and also to capture some of their curiosity. Three things to look for was too much though. I would focus their evidence search on just one thing. They missed a lot by trying to look for too many things and I wonder if they would have been able to gather more evidence around something very general if they had just been looking for ways that math changed peoples lives.
I would still ask them for anything that they learned or that surprised them. That's not the kind of thing they are likely to miss.
After the movie I ask students to share any evidence they heard for or against each of the statements I have given them in their notes. As they share I ask other students if they noticed the same thing and I will tell them if I wrote that down or if I missed it. I may also share some evidence that I found that they didn't notice.
I also ask them to share some things they learned, were surprised by, and are left wondering about. Students may be a little hesitant to share these, because they won't always be sure of the correctness of what they're saying or they don't want to admit that they didn't know it to begin with, or they don't want it to be something trivial. As students begin to share I respond by telling them that I found that interesting as well, or that many people are often surprised by that, or that most people don't think about things in that same way. I also share some things that surprised me. I think it is important for students to see me as a participant here and someone who is as surprised by things as they are so they don't always see me as the provider of all knowledge. I want them to know that I don't know all the answers and I am not always "looking for" a certain way of saying something. I think this is really important to set an atmosphere where kids are comfortable sharing their ideas with less concern as to the completeness or correctness. Otherwise we won't have a starting point to build from if we have students too reluctant to share incomplete ideas.