Last year in precalc, everyone presented. (If you solved a problem, you had to present before you could turn in a paper, and the only way to earn a grade was to turn in papers. Publish or perish, baby.) But the audience often sucked. The crowd would wait politely without really trying to follow along, then clap politely and go back to what they were doing. Of course, that didn’t make anyone very eager to present.

So this year in Algebra II and Precalc we’re trying something devised by two of my colleagues and me, based on stuff we learned about feedback from Mylène and Patrick.

Everyone gets a slip of paper to fill out for each presentation:

The questions correspond to the full rubric for presentations (the rubric shows up around page 5).

The goal for the audience is to ask questions of the speaker in order to help the speaker score all YESses—without doing it for the speaker.

Everyone fills out yes/no sheets and turns them in to teacher. Teacher reviews quickly and that day or next gives general feedback to group about their sheets: “Didn’t seem to me that you guys could actually check the steps in Sam’s presentation, but you said you could.” or “Here are 5 samples of comments you wrote for Lianne. Which ones are specific and which are not?” Teacher gives sheets to speaker.

Any troubleshooting you wish to offer prior to launch will be greatly appreciated.