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February 2, 2013

Making Algebraic Equations Fun!

Just a quick post between grocery shopping and trying to clean up the mound of toys in the family room...

Hope you are having an awesome Saturday.  We are too - it's just weird since hubby doesn't usually work on Saturdays but he had the opportunity to get 8 more hours so he went for it!  We went down there to "help him" for a little bit near lunch as he is trying to rearrange all the technology and cords and well... I'm glad he knows what they are all for.  Since he was busy that left me taking all 3 boys to the grocery store.  I don't believe it's possible for a mother to stay sane going to the store with 3 sons... maybe it would be different with 3 girls...  Things were going relatively decent until my now 3 year old decided to scream/yell/sing/shout/holler "DADDY" throughout the store.  People were looking and I just wanted to climb under the basket.  I really hope my child isn't the only one that plays that game...

Anyhow, in the peace (can't say quiet) before heading out and about, I made up these task cards to help my school kiddos review Algebraic Equations.  The past 2 weeks we have been focusing on graphing on coordinate planes and they were tracking with me... then we tried to revisit function tables this past week (which we did way back when) and turn those outcomes into ordered pairs.  The thinking train came to a complete halt for many of them.  It's a struggle since some of them just didn't remember how to do it.  I guess in their minds graphing should be completely separate from function tables.

The main gist is that they need more practice working with equations that have a "x" and "y" in them. They need to conquer their fears..  So, onto these cards.  I decided to make it in various levels since my kiddos need the practice... some have just the simple x + a number = y... some are more challenging when they have to solve through parenthesis, multiplication, addition, and subtraction.  

As usual, I added an answer key since I love having an answer key handy.  
You probably can tell that I love task cards.  We just used the long division ones yesterday with our Superbowl stations.  I have started printing off two copies of the cards - one in color which I laminate and get ready for games (Scoot and centers), and the other I just print in black/white which I turn into an interactive bulletin board. 
Just an example of turning something into an interactive bulletin board.
Each student gets their own task card number, they solve it and write the answer on the back.  Then they stick it on their project with a piece of tape on the top and the kids review by flipping up the card after solving to check their answers.  It works great since I have this type of bulletin board on my rolling cabinets.  They happen to be part of the pathway to get out the door when we are all lined up... those kids in the back have at least a couple of moments to review when we are waiting to walk out the door.   

Okay, better go tackle the toys... I promise it was all clean last night!

P.S. - Just a reminder that my stores (yes plural) are on sale both today and tomorrow.  I have my fingers crossed that the items on my wish list will also go on sale.  :)  Happy Shopping! 


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