Share something new you tried this year in your classroom.
We went to a 4×4 semester block this past year. Loosing time was an issue my colleague amd I worried about with Algebra 1. There was simply no way we could get it all in. So we decided to do a ‘spiraling’ unit of sorts with solving equations and inequalities.
We outlined 17 skills/levels of solving equations and inequalities. Created a hanging file with multiple copies for each skill. Simple worksheets with 12-24 equations focused on a single skill.
We printed a single copy of the worksheets on color paper, created answer keys, labeled with corresponding Skill # and title. These keys went in page protectors and were placed in a 3-ring binder.
Students received a booklet for their INBs with a list pf the skills, that would allow them to track their own progress.
Each week, we would practice 1 or 2 skills on whiteboards as a whole class, then create organized notes in their INBs for future reference as they came to that skills.
A BIG focus was verifying their solutions and work. IF students failed to do this for each problem, they were handed back for completion.
The rest of the class time was dedicated to individual practice time. Students had been instructed to fo work on notebook paper. As they completed 8-10 problems with verification, they went to a designated table in the room and checked their work with our keys. Reflected on their work, if they were satisfied or needed more practice, turned their paper in to a marked folder that I would record later.
I would spot check a couple of their problems to ensure they were giving best effort. This time allowed me to visit each group and help those having trouble. Most of the time, their questions arose after verifying their answer and realizing they had a mistake.
There were mixed quizzes after every 4 or so skills.
To some, this may seem archaic. I will utilize it again this semester.
- It provided opportunity for practice, reasoning/verifying their work,
- time for me to meet with each student
- a way to incorporate 2 units spaced over the entire semester, developing foundational skills for future courses.
- This was great in my collaborative class, allowing students some spacing between their weekly, structured practice.
- By the end of the semester, many automatically verified solutions without direction.
- Self-paced, self-assessing.
How might I improve?
- An organized plan prior to beginning for those who complete quickly.
- Maybe online sets using deltamath.com or other resource.
- Require an open question in each set. Ie. I give them the answer, rhey build an equation to result in it.
What suggestions would you share?
- 2 steo
- Combine like terms, same side
- Distributive property
- Variables on both sides of =
- Mixed, multi-steps
- Special situations
- Litrral equations
- Literal equations standard to y=mx+b
- Inequalities and graph solutions
- Multi-step inequalties and graphs
- Compound inequalities (maybe split?)
- Absolute value equations
- Absolute value inequalities
- Simple rational eqs. /proportions
- Simple radical equations
- Square roots to solve quadratics