Vocabulary Test

  1. Write a word problem that uses a Divisor, a Dividend, and a Quotient. Identify each of them, describe each of them and describe the relationship that each has with the other two.
  2. Would you rather be a Predator or a Parasite? If you could be either one, which would you be and why? Carefully describe the differences between the two in the explanation of your choice. What kind of relationship do they have with other organisms?

This is a vocabulary test that I gave last Thursday. Rather than asking students to match vocabulary with definitions or to just regurgitate definitions in response to a word prompt, I wanted to see if they could describe the roles and relationships behind these words. Just what is a Dividend? or a Divisor? and how do they relate to each other? “Partners” to predators or parasites do not benefit from the transaction, quite the reverse. But how do you compare those relationships?

Anybody can memorize definitions. Weaving a story with words demonstrates true depth and breadth of understanding, and is a more durable learning.  The results of this assessment were eye-opening in that some of my best students stumbled. More than a few didn’t write a word problem at all; others just recited the definitions.  It’s one thing to be good at computation, it’s entirely another to be fluent in your understanding.

Me? I’d rather be a parasite, esp. Microplitis demolitor

a parasitic wasp that lays its eggs in caterpillars and uses a 100-million-year old mutualistic relationship with a virus as a weapon.

a parasitic wasp that lays its eggs in caterpillars and uses a 100-million-year old mutualistic relationship with a virus as a weapon.

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About gblakney

Middle School Mathematics Teacher, passionate EdTech user who loves to experiment with new methods and tools in the classroom. Following the lead of Dan Meyer and Jo Boaler, I create a safe place for kids to discover the fun and beauty of maths. I use Number Talks and Groupwork to make maths accessible for all of my students. I enjoy Mathematics and I'm enthusiastic about teaching; the kids really respond to that.
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