Math Hospital is an activity I try to do every other chapter. I was given to me by my old district instructional coach. He had given me a two page handout, but I have since lost it, and I don’t have a digital copy. Here’s how it goes:
– The day before I give the students a problem to do on an exit ticket. Then I look through those tickets for a common mistake, and scan that students work into my slides (student names redacted).
– The Initial slide for Math Hospital is always a reminder of the theme of Math Hospital – failure is helpful and not shameful. I took that theme from a Dan Meyer post you can find here. This is where I remind students that getting things wrong is a great opportunity to learn.
– Each student gets one exit ticket to do their work on.
– The 1st part of Math Hospital is called “Reading” and is simply where I ask a couple students to read the problem out loud. It’s good that the class hears how other people interpret math language.
– The 2nd part is where we talk about things we like about the problem. Common answers are asthetic things – equal signs lined up, etc. I tell the students here that “you have been in math for 10 years, you should develop a taste about what you think is good or not good. Imagine if you were painting for 10 years, you would have an opinion about what makes good art”. I have them all write down one thing that they like.
– The 3rd part is where we talk about things that are correct. This is where I always say “remember, in every wrong answer, there is always something right about it”. I have them all write down one thing that was correct about the problem.
– The 4th part is where we discuss what went wrong, and what corrections need to be made. I have them all write down one thing that was wrong about the problem.
– The last part is where we discuss key points. “What can we take from this problem, that is going to help us when we take the test?”. I have them all write down one key point.
– After the Math Hospital is finished, I have the students work a similar problem to what they just analyzed. I have them do it on the back of the exit ticket.
– Lastly I tell them that if they are still confused then they might want to consult another physician. In this case the other physician is Salman Khan, and I show a slide that highlights the exact videos on Khan Academy that cover the topic we were discussing.
Here is the handout that I give each student the first time we do the Math Hospital. It is basically the same as what my instructional coach had given me, but since I did not have it digital, I recreated it.
– I recommend repeating the purpose of Math Hospital everytime you do it. I always go back to the theme “failure is helpful and not shameful” and I always during the second round I say “you’ve all done this problem, what about this work could you say ‘yeah I appreciate that’, or ‘I would not have thought of that'”.
– This is really meant to be a 15 minute activity. Quick error analysis.
Here’s the .pdf – Math Hospital
I remixed this a little bit, that post can be see here. I now give each student a copy of the patient so they can circle and point to things that are right or wrong, that they like or dislike. If I do this at the end of the class, I can now say “make sure this patient is healthy by tomorrow” and use it as a homework problem.