Reflection: Student Ownership The Power of Factors - Section 1: Warmup


As I said earlier in the Garden Design lesson I first introduced the consecutive sums problem without realizing all the rich opportunities it held for deeper math investigations. I thought it might be an interesting sponge problem for my students who finished their work early. I quickly realized that it held so much potential to explore numerous avenues in math as well as help address knowledge gaps. I tried to keep this problem going on the side, but it kept creeping up to the forefront. To teach it again I would make it the central focus from which to follow student inquiry and conjectures.

I highly recommend spending several days examining this problem at length. My students raised questions about divisibility and factoring, exponents and powers, and integers that helped us both remediate prior knowledge and extend our thinking beyond the standards. The best thing about this problem is that it engaged student interest in a purely mathematical exploration. Because they were asking the questions, they wanted to answer them. 

My students needed help getting started because they weren't used to this type of problem. Once they realized that they needed to try out a few numbers to get a feel for what was being asked, they were more comfortable.

I found the best use of my time with this problem, and problems like it, was to listen to student ideas and questions. This helped I helped me figure out which standards they were bringing up & which direction to guide them. them elaborate on and model their ideas by asking them to tell me more and show me what they meant. I brought their questions back to the class and asked them how we might investigate.

  Allow time for student led inquiry!
  Student Ownership: Allow time for student led inquiry!
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The Power of Factors

Unit 3: Equivalent Expressions
Lesson 14 of 23

Objective: SWBAT use distributive property and like terms to simplify multiple step variable expressions.

Big Idea: Students will see that order of operations applies when simplifying expressions as well as solving.

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Math, Expressions (Algebra), problem solving, distributive property, like terms, multiple step expressions
  54 minutes
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