Recently, I tried out the Always, Sometimes, or Never? practice structure with my Algebra 1 students. We used this as a last-minute review before our quiz over finding measures of central tendency.
I gave students this set of 11 problems. They were allowed to pair up to work through the problems. I set a timer on my phone for 5 minutes. Students worked in pairs without any help from me during these 5 minutes.
After the timer went off, we went through each problem. Groups shared their initial thinking, then the disagreements started! I love when my students disagree in math class because it means they are thinking and explaining their thinking.
It was awesome to see students change their minds as their fellow students shared sets of numbers that disproved their hypotheses.
I definitely want to incorporate this practice structure into my classroom on a more regular basis.
One of my twitter friends suggested that I set up three sections of the room to signify Always, Sometimes, and Never. Instead of having students simply say their answers, they have to physically move to stand in the section that represents their thinking. Then, students share their thinking. Students continue to share their thinking until the class comes to a consensus and is standing in the same area. Doesn't that sound awesome?!?
I've uploaded the file for this activity here. The Always, Sometimes, Never statements are not original. I found them on page 135 of this PDF. I will probably modify the questions before using them again. My students were quite miffed that there ended up being so many "Sometimes" as the correct answer!