This week will be the end of my solving equations independent study unit. Since this was a new idea for me, much of what happened during the unit was created as we went. These are a couple aspects that either I haven't explained before, are new, or address questions that people have asked. Overall I really enjoyed this unit a lot and would definitely do it again.

__Small Group Table__

Until recently, this small round table was being used as my teaching table. My projector was on it and it was in the middle of the room. When my wall mounted projector was installed I didn't need it there anymore though. So I moved the rug over there, put the table on it and pulled up a bunch of chairs creating our extra help table.

Some days I was having trouble getting around to help each student that needed me so instead I station myself at this table and call them over to me in small groups. Sometimes all of the kids will be working on different things and I'll just help one at a time. When I feel that they're good to work on their own I'll send them back and let someone else take the seat. Other times I'll call up a group of kids all working on the same skill and will give a mini-lesson/activity to all of them. The kids really seem to be liking going to sit over at the table with me. One afternoon I had two kids beginning to work on combining like terms and then three other kids spoke up that they were also stuck there so they came over too. Instead of doing the worksheets I had them work on a paper cutting activity and dry erase boards to practice/learn the skill. They enjoyed it and it worked really well. If I'm still at my desk after a few minutes into the period kids will ask if we can go over to the table yet, or sometimes they'll just go sit there and call me over.

__Mini Lessons and Activities__

Originally the practice/check/quiz system was working out well because none of the concepts were really new. As kids reached topics that were new however, they needed some instruction. I started by just explaining the problems to the kids individually but felt that I could be doing better. So what ended up happening was small group mini lessons and activities.

When kids got to combining like terms I worked in a small group on a paper cutting activity that I've used before and really like. I had pre-prepared strips of paper ready at the round table. I would give the kids an expression and they would write it out big on the paper. They would then physically cut the paper apart and rearrange it, grouping like terms together. Then they would add up each group. For the activity I'd have them go through enough examples until I felt that they had the hang of it and then transition to doing the same thing on paper.

When kids got to special case equations I had them complete my scale activity. Then I had them complete four problems (two one regular ones, one identity, and one no solution) and would then relate their answers to the scale activity to demonstrate the meaning of the identity and no solution and how they are different from a regular equation.

__ISN Notes__

When I put out the notes for the topics I wasn't 100% sure what my intention was. I do know however that I need to keep things organized and uniform so I wasn't ok with each kid creating different numbered pages. Instead I had them all title a set of pages "Solving Equations" and decide what needed to go there. If a kid started with one step equations they put in the one-step equation notes, and then the two-step notes right underneath (taping it so it flips like a book), three step right underneath that and so on. For kids that started at multi-step equations, those would be the only notes they had on that page.

This is an example of a kid that took the notes for one, two, and three step equations:

Someone that started on two step equations might only have the two and three step notes.

The "notes" are just a sample problem with the steps written out. As far as knowing what to write, they would just borrow my notebook where I had all of them done and taped one right on top of the other. For kids where this wasn't enough, I would work through it with them.

This way, everyone in the class still has the same numbered pages called solving equations, but they only have what they need on those pages.

These are what I gave out:

I happened upon this series of posts tonight and it couldn't have come at a better time. I've done boot camps like this before, but not for solving equations. I've done it for operations on rationals and on graphing linear equations. My students this year are struggling with integers and equations, so I'm going to start boot camp this week over these two skills. I'm really liking your recording sheet and I plan to get my version copied first thing tomorrow morning!

ReplyDeleteThis is absolutely a lifesaver! Thank you so much for the detail you put into this. I am trying interactive notebooks for the first time this year, and as our curriculum has now changed for the 3rd year in a row, I can't tell you how much I appreciate that you have already laid these notes out for anyone to use. I appreciate all the time you took to do this-thank you:)

ReplyDeletegood explanation

ReplyDeleteHi! Is there a special download for your foldables? It seems the last picture/download is no longer available. Thanks!

ReplyDeleteI would also love the print out of these foldables :) Thanks!

ReplyDeleteI am looking for the Solving Equations Squares you used above for the ISN pages. I downloaded them a couple of years ago, but can't find the file. Are there files of these somewhere on your blog that can be downloaded? AND THANKS FOR SHARING! I get a lot out of your blog!

ReplyDelete