Compare and contrast is a different beast. I'm not sure why, but it's something we've always struggled through. This year, I'm using the game SET to introduce it.
SET is pretty common in math classrooms, they even have a resources for teachers page. I'm sure Sue VanHattum has a few extra decks around her living room.
In the interest of not spending $96 on 8 decks of SET I used Keynote '08 to make a version. I'm just going to color print and laminate them. I'm not a designer in any way so if you're interested in making a better version I fully support that and will post yours.
I was too lazy to figure out how to make the squiggly character so I made rectangles instead. I also changed the colors.
Edit: Scribd is pretty much the worst thing ever so if it's not showing just click through and it'll work. I had to zip the keynote file because I can't figure out how to get box.net or dropbox to share them. Here it is if you want to edit.
Mine prints out in landscape automatically.
Here are the rules for the uninitiated. It's the simplified version. Normally there are different shadings (striped, solid, outlined).
- Nine cards are placed face up on the table.
- The students take a look and yell out "Set" when they see a set.
- The student who yells set has a few seconds to pick up his/her three cards.
- That player gets 1 point.
- Three more cards are laid face up on the table.
- If everyone agrees there are no sets on the table (really rare, but students have a hard time seeing them at first) then three more cards are put out. These are not replaced when depleted.
- Play ends when the deck is depleted. Most points wins.
What's a set? Each card has three features: Shape, Color, and Number. In order to make a set, each feature must be the same on every card or different on every card. If you go try out the Daily Puzzle it makes a lot more sense.
I had written out a whole tutorial but found these screens here, which are much better. These are a set:
These are NOT sets:
Remember, I'm not using shadings.
It helps if students go through three questions:
- Are they all the same shape or are all different shapes?
- Are they all the same color or all different colors?
- Are they all the same number or all different numbers?
First day I introduce the rules and just let them play. Although the box says it's suitable for ages 6 and over, the thinking behind this is difficult at first so it'll take awhile for kids to get it.
Second day we play a little more. Then I formalize it. I like to use a comparison matrix for compare/contrast. Venns don't really do it for me although bubble maps are alright.1 After a little play I put this on each of their tables:
Mid-game they stop and take one set (3 cards). They put one card over each spot on the top then fill in the boxes for each attribute. The far right box they write a sentence, "Card 1 has a squiggle, Card 2 has a........All of the cards have different shapes."
After the game is finished I ask them to shuffle the deck and pull out three random cards. They fill out the comparison matrix again and use it to decide if it's a set or not.
I'll update this post when I actually do it. I'm looking forward to it. I really just want something I can point at. When I want a kid to compare/contrast something I want to be able to just point to the SET deck or say, "Remember that card game we played?" and have that memory do the work. It turns out "something I can point at" drives a lot of my instructional decisions.
Update: Here's a full version in pdf and keynote. I wrote a followup post too.
1: The problem with Venns is they're not forced to compare specific attributes. I get things like, "Dogs bark. Cats like tuna." umm...ok.