Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fun with Algebra! Our Introduction Week

This past week in class we started my FAVORITE type of math to teach!


I'm not sure what I love so much about it, but I just think that the possibilities are ENDLESS with the fun things that you can do with it!  I remember when I was in school and was in Algebra-it was book/paper activities ALL. THE. TIME.  

However, I plan to do some out of the box things this 9 weeks with my Expressions and Equations 6th Grade CCSS. :)  

So, here is a peek at what I did this past week in class to introduce Expressions and Equations.

First, we took some note in our Interactive Notebooks on the difference between Expressions and Equations, vocabulary, the Distributive Property (with Algebra), and did some stick and solves (with post-its).

It was hard for the students to grasp the distributive property a little with algebra since we learned about it a little with Number Systems, but with numbers not variables.  They got stuck for awhile thinking that you could SOLVE these expressions with a number, so we spent a LOT of time talking about the difference between an expression and an equation.  
We then got into like terms and combining them.  This sparked my higher students to go crazy with this, and all week during enrichment, I spent giving CHALLENGES with maybe 7 terms that had to be distributed to, powers and mixed variables!  Even though we got into some CRAZY variables, powers, and combining (7th or 8th grade stuff), they had a BLAST!  It really challenged them to understand the process-so I think that it really pushed my higher students!  Not to mention they were having FUN---and who wants to stop that? :)

We did an Algebraic Expression Mix and Mingle, too.  I did it on note cards for now, unless anyone expresses an interest for me to put all of my Mix and Mingle games on Teachers Pay Teachers, then I will make them cute and fancy. :)  Just send me a message or comment, 

First, I made expressions that the students needed to solve using the distributive property:

I then also made cards in blue ink that had the answers written on them.  The students paired up and were each given a question card and a random, answer card.  The pairs of students then worked out the question on their card:

Once everyone had worked out their questions, they mingled with each other to try to find the group with their answer card.  They had a lot of fun--plus it included an aspect that ALL middle school students LOVE to do---MINGLE! :)

The last thing that we got to this past week was translating words into algebraic expressions.  Ugh.  I was dreading this one because even when I taught math at the community college they struggled with this one. 

We started with some Pinspired notes in our interactive notebooks:
 Then we did some practice whole class.  That is about as far as we got this week.  We did a Mix and Mingle activity with this too.  Everyone got a card-some were the words and some were the expressions, and they had to match up the correct words to expression. :)  

We only have two and a half days this next week of school, and I am planning to have them work on our Thanksgiving Math Centers as a review (shameless plug-they're on sale the rest of today!!!). :)  Plus, I have math planning on Monday, so I won't be in the classroom.  

Have a great week everyone! :)

1 comment:

  1. I love the distributive property idea with the expression and answer cards. I just started algebra a few weeks ago with my sixth graders and I think they would like this!


I appreciate feedback, sharing of thoughts and ideas, and comments. Please feel free to leave a comment. :) I will always try very hard to comment back!!! :)