As some of you already know, my school operates on a trimester system. So while most of you are looking forward to Thanksgiving turkey and trips to see family and then coming back to finish out the semester, I am gearing up for finals this week. We don’t have a special schedule or anything, but I am giving finals at the end of the week, hence the title of this post. [Note: I am still doing all that looking-forward-to-Thanksgiving stuff.]

Last Thursday/Friday was my first day for review in Math 2 (one of my classes doesn’t meet on Thursday; the other doesn’t meet on Friday). I have a typical, fairly boring, packet of review problems that I was planning on handing out to students so they could do some diagnostics and figure out what they needed to work on for the next few days.

Then the Xerox machine decided to go on strike.

It was bad, people. It was very bad.

Finally, after both of my classes had met *ahem*, the Xerox machine decided it was okay and I was able to print off my review packets. I passed them out in class today. But I have skipped over an important step in my story. The chronology of this blog-post is out of whack!

What did I do with my bonus 80 minutes for which I had nothing planned, you ask?

I did concept maps:

I don’t have pictures of this part, but my genius move was, after students had worked on the whiteboard concept maps, I had them make a “final draft” on chart paper…but I had them revise a different group’s map. I couldn’t think of a good third-round that would enable them to have hand’s on for all three maps, but 2 is better than 1.

While this definitely didn’t take the whole block, it did take a good chunk of time and it helped students to focus on what concepts were in each unit so they could develop their own study guides. I wrote on the agenda that it was “Choose Your Own Adventure: Study Guide Edition.” No one commented on the reference, so I assume this generation of students all had horribly deprived childhoods. All in all, it worked out to be a pretty productive review day. And I don’t particularly like review days, so that’s saying something.

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