Well, here today, on Monday, I labor reflecting on how week two has gone.   The week has gone well.  The kids are settling into the way the class operates.  I’m starting to figure out how they operate as well.

The Price is Right

Algebra 1 and Inequalities

After success with having students choice in equation reviews, we’ve jumped into inequalities.  I’ve always wanted to use the Range Game from the Price is right to work through inequality problems (even if there’s an absolute value to discuss).  Of course these days, when hands went up, only about 5 or 6 out of 25 kids in each class had ever seen the show.  A quick explanation, and we were on the way to watch the segment of one of my favorite games.    Game Show intro    At the end,  the contestant loses, but a few really understand the gist of the game. So I told them that they’d have a chance to view another Range Game episode at the end of the notes.   So after reviewing a couple notes (they had watched the flipped lesson on this topic the previous night), we were able to view   Game Show #2  This clip is great.  Kids were cheering him on, saying things like, “that’s not fair”, “they’ve gotta give it to him!”, and finally cheers at the end.  The equation?  |8365-x|<150 .   The 8365 is the actual price, and the x is the range that is within \$150 in either direction of the the price. And to complete the talk, I mention how in coding this equation would cause the computer to light up green.   If it was outside the range, the computer would light up the price in red.

Hanging out the Numbers on Lines

In Math8 we covered those infamous Real Number Systems.   I was inspired to use “clothes lines” from Andrew Stadel  We used time in class to discuss where numbers were to go.  Starting off with -2, 0, and 3, I have three kids put those up on the chain which stretches from one end of the board to the other.  And yes, in one class’s that first group placed them all on the left side of the board…  Gently we “suggested and questioned” that they should be spread out more. Finally a student who struggled to sit still, placed them accurately along the entire 10+ feet clothes line/chain.  We then added four numbers at a time, and discussed them along the way until every student had added his/her own numbers to the line – lots of fractions, some decimals, and of course pi!  I was pleased with how the talk went.

Squares and Dots  Area and Side Lengths

The next day we discussed squares and square roots.  In previous years, we would cut out these pictures and fold them, cut them, rearrange them in order to see how the area is constructed/counted.  Unfortunately, time ran too quickly and we skipped this important step.  So after a similar problem on our quiz, I’ll be reviewing this with those who need a bit more hands on activity to really grasp the area concept.

So, now a three day “vacation” comes to an end…  But it’s great to have a moment to breathe, think about the next steps and jump in to the fall and the lessons.

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