Reflection: Real World Applications To Change or Not to Change - Section 1: Warm Up


I want my students to establish ownership of mathematical vocabulary, rather than working from rote definitions. For example, in today's lesson, when I asked students to define what a variable is they respond by saying it is a letter that stands for a number. I was not confident that they really understood that it represented a whole range of possible numbers. More so, they were thinking of it as standing for a single right answer. My intention for this lesson was to give them a more complete understanding by comparing the idea of variable with what it means to be constant.

After teaching the lesson, I was thinking that it would be helpful to make the following change. Next year, I plan to follow up with additional contextual problems that include both constant and variable quantities. Comprehensible context gives a purpose to the terms as well as the mathematical tools. The context I would choose would be one in which students need to make a decision based on data. For example choosing between company A that charges a flat fee of $50 plus a unit rate of $3 and company B that charges no flat fee, but a unit rate of $10.

  Meaning vs. definition
  Real World Applications: Meaning vs. definition
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To Change or Not to Change

Unit 3: Equivalent Expressions
Lesson 7 of 23

Objective: SWBAT distinguish constant from variable terms and combine like terms using algebra tiles.

Big Idea: Students learn that constant terms do not depend on the value of variables.

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Math, Expressions (Algebra), distributive property, like terms, algebra tile
  54 minutes
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