This collection of card-sorting activities encourages students to classify sets of cards according to various criteria. It forces students to make connections between various representations of a given concept. For instance, in kinematics, students need to categorize graphs according to change in speed, motion descriptions, and types of acceleration.
The activities are built on the Desmos Classroom Activity platform, a free platform designed to promote the learning of mathematics. (To get started with Desmos visit this SALTISE resource) Students can access the activity through a website without the need for an account. Conducting the activity online is more time efficient than with physical cards. It also allows to: provide immediate feedback and add other types of questions (ranking, calculation, multiple-choice, reflection…) to make the activity more complete.
During the activity, students work in small groups at their own pace as the teacher monitors the progress and intervenes when needed, either with individual groups or with the whole class.
Students explore a given concept from various points of view using multiple representations of the concept. The visual aspects of the card sorting ties to conceptual mapping and the cards become a conversation starter to promote peer instruction through discussions and negotiation between students.
The activities work best in groups of 2-4 students who collaborate on a single device. The main portion of each activity takes about 45 minutes to complete, but additional problems are added at the end to ensure that faster groups are not left empty-handed.
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