Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Where's My Mistake? System of Equations


First lesson back after break and we had finished graphical, elimination and substation methods for Systems of Equations. I also had a PD the last lesson before break - its been a little while between solving equations! Combining a warm up I did last year with a sheet I found online, I created a effective Solving Systems of Equations Analysis lesson. It was great to see them going one step further in their thinking and understanding of the solving process. Plus encouraging a good skill - finding mistakes and correcting them!

Warm Up:
Before they came into class I wrote two "solutions" on the board. Each one has been solved incorrectly and they had to find the mistake and re-work to find the correct solution.


Core Lesson:
This lead nicely into the next section. Handed out this wonderful resource online from Jackie Ballarini's blog, Continuities.


Application:
After students finished the error sheet I had already photocopied Common Core Application questions.


Saturday, 24 January 2015

Crow and Pitcher Activity

This year was the first year I used the Crow and Pitcher simulation activity to introduce Linear Functions. And, LOVED IT! I have used it in Math 8 and Algebra 1. I have tinkered with it and available equipment to finally get it right (for my conditions anyway!). Its a hands on activity showing how rate of change is related to slope and slope-intercept form (y = mx +b) of an equation based around Aesop's fable of the Crow and Pitcher.

Firstly, students watched the fable Thirsty Crow clip as a hook, before rereading the text version (slide below  showing what equipment we will be using to simulate the situation.

Students used the sheets and water filed beakers (or straight drinking glasses - my version of  "take one!") and marbles to introduce investigate. We came together as a class to compare results and discuss conclusions. It was a nice was to introduce y-intercept in context, rate of change and review relevant domain and range in a limiting situation.

One tip I picked up form the Math Camp at Columbia, is whenever you have an activity its important to give students some responsibility to reporting out - otherwise whats the point or how can their reflect on their learning? In this case a poster showing the situation in multiple representations was a useful way to reflect on the activity.