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!