Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Solving Equations Brainstorm

Note to self:

When I move from one-step equations to two-step equations, I've tried talking about "backwards Order of Operations" and I've tried talking about three steps forward, two steps back, etc. but they don't really listen.

For the coming year:

HAVE COURAGE AND TAKE A DAY TO DO THIS! (just a note to myself)
Make a scavenger hunt outside. for pts. PLUS extra credit points.

Then write their "clue" in the following way.

1) I hid the treasure & then faced the flagpole.
2) I took 5 steps forward.
3) I turned to the left.
4) I went down 3 steps.


Trashcan (or whatever).

Day before: explain the rules, go over examples, tell the kids each group of 4 will be working together. Make sure at least one kid in each group is listening (pick a team role to be leader on this).

Day of hunt: Kids get paper with "clue" and map of area of scavenger hunt. Tell them attendance is being taken before AND after. They have 20 minutes to find the treasure - go.

When they come back, discuss the two elements needed for success:

1) Undo each step in REVERSE order (4, then 3, then 2, then 1)

2) Do the OPPOSITE of each step.

**When making clues, make sure that they won't work unless done backwards & opposite (for instance, take 3 steps left and 2 steps forward; they can be undone in the wrong order and still work)

(treasure should be 4 pieces of candy? or ticket for candy)

Come back to room.

Have them fill out handout on what they did to find treasure. Maybe have paper divided in two with clue on one side, then students turn paper upside down to write backwards opposite operations, and bottom has space for reflection on what they learned.

Now to forget about this post until RIGHT after I teach two-step equations in the fall.

~ Ms. Libb!

Edit: Add "X MARKS THE SPOT" to emphasize that they are going backward to find....x!