After our zombie apocalypse game about exponents I decided to check my students understanding of exponents by doing a hands on activity. I passed out a stack of cards to each students. In each stack there were 15 white cards (the questions) and 15 blue or green cards (the answers). Each student sat at a table with one other student. Each table had one stack of blue cards and one stack of green. The questions in each stack were different, so students were able to work with their partner if they had questions, but they still did their work on their own.

I told my students to glue/tape the questions (white cards) to one side of their paper and the answer on the other, leaving room to do work between them. This caused my students to work out the problems (on paper) before matching it with the answer. It was AMAZING to see how much the students learned about exponents from the day before.

My students loved having manipulatives as they worked through the problems. This activity was much more effective than using a worksheet to check my students understanding. My students actually asked if I could organize our test in the same sort of way. Although I’m not planning on using manipulatives I may make test matching (with more answers than questions) and create boxes for students to show their work.

I got the cards forthis activity from Don’t Panic, the Answer is 42. I changed her directions around from being a class activity where questions or answers would be up on the board to a way that gave me tangible information about each students’ understanding of exponents.

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