Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge The Power of Factors - Section 3: Problem Solving


In response to one student question I was able to introduce integers here. In a rereading of the original problem she picked up on the word "positive" in "positive consecutive whole numbers" and asked "what about negative numbers?" So I went ahead and reviewed a number line to show "consecutive" negative numbers. They will still find they can’t make -2 or -4 or -8, etc, but they can make 1.

One nice thing about having these long term problems is that you can bring extension problems in at any time during the year, so if you teach integers later in the year you could bring this problem back then as well.

This type of problem not only helps students learn to make sense of problems and to work through frustration, but also helps them develop a comfort level with asking questions. Working on harder, long term problems help to spark curiosity and generate questions that can lead to further mathematical investigations.

The nice thing about following up on student generated questions is that they take greater ownership of their learning, the learning is more meaningful and authentic to them, but, most importantly, they learn the value of asking questions. Questions are so often viewed by students as an indicator of how much they don't know rather than an opportunity to push learning forward.

  Connecting topics in math
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Connecting topics in math
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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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