Posted in Activities, Circles, Geometry, Solving Equations

Choose Your Own Adventure

This has become one of my favorite projects to do. I stole the idea from Matt Miller in his book Ditch That Textbook. As Alice Keeler often says, you shouldn’t have 30 of the exact same thing and with this project, you have 30 unique stories. I’ve done this with Algebra when we review solving equations and in Geometry as an assessment for Segments and Angles in Circles. I love that students have to know common misconceptions to create realistic wrong answers. Great conversations happen when you challenge their wrong answers and why they chose them. I love that they have to peer edit, revise, then peer edit again. I also love that in Geometry we learn how to use Google Drawing. I try to throw Google Apps lessons in whenever I can. We also have a great conversation about Creative Commons licensing and how I can’t publish their adventure to the world if they have used copyrighted material. This year I created a hyperdoc¬†so students would have all of their instructions in one place. I also gave them the scoring guide so they could work through their partners problems and also check for navigation issues.

Here are a couple of exemplary examples from my students.

I love the Wizard’s School because she actually made the circles part of the story. Very well done.

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The second example, Journey to be a Mage, is from Algebra 1. This student wanted to make sure I could share his story so he drew all of his images on notepad on his iPhone. Amazing!

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The last two are just good examples (they may have an error here and there) of stories and images. The one with the dog was my student taking images of her dog. She was so excited.

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I have included a link to the hyperdoc. It is view only but you can make a copy and edit as you wish.

This is a link to the PDF version of the scoring guide I give students to peer edit with.

Please leave enough time to conference with your students through the journey and give them time to peer edit and correct. We want them to do it right so it can be shared with the world.

Posted in Questioning, Solving Equations

Solving Equations Questions

When we began our first unit in Algebra we wanted to set the stage for good questioning and not just wrote note taking. Here are a few of the questions we used with our table groups so students would talk and form knowledge about what we were learning. We encourage students to debate with each other and provide solid mathematical evidence to support their thoughts.

  • Variable
    • At your table, discuss the variable in the problem and how you would solve for it: 2x-4=10
  • Operations
    • 4x+8=18 How do you use inverse operations to solve this?
  • Coefficient
    • Locate the coefficient(s), what happens to the coefficient when you solve.
      • 5x=3x+2
  • Expression vs equation
    • How could you make this expression an equation? Now solve at your table.
    • 3.5x+12

When are are finished with each section, we ask the students what they think would be important to write down. Some write a lot, some not as much. It’s important for them to learn how much information they need for their own learning.