Words into Math

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Yesterday, we did an activity where kids matched up the word phrase to the algebraic phrase.  It went fine, but there were definitely some things I needed to fix!

1. There was no point to having them cut out both the words and the algebra.  Next time I would just give them the words already printed on the page and a smaller sheet with just the algebraic phrases.  Good thing we realized that in my first hour and so I just had them cut out the whole column and glue it down in one piece.

2. In having them just glue down the first column, the kids noticed that I had not mixed up the algebraic phrases column very well.  And the pointed it out.  A lot 🙂

3. I made it way too easy.  I did not have many problems with the same number or the same variable, so they didn’t have to do a whole lot of thinking, just matching the numbers and letters.  Not awesome on my part.  The happy accident was that I did have a few that were something like m – 9 and the font I used made it look just like a 6 – w.  Of course, I didn’t tell them which one it was and made them figure it out.  So that made me feel a little better to make them think at least that much.

I had it in my head that this was going to be a little more difficult for them, so we also had the dreaded down time when kids were finished and I was not prepared with a spectacular idea to fill that time.  So I had to do some quick thinking.  Thanks to Dan Meyer’s Three Act Tasks I had something great for them to do.  I do need to have more awesome, engaging, mind stretching time fillers ready for the future, though!

 

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