Part 1: Clearing Fractions
I will group students in three’s. I try to place students with similar numeracy skill levels together. I find that this helps students because it enables the group to move along at an even pace. Once groups are established, I hand each trio three index cards.
Now, I project the Clearing Fractions Resource for all to see. These are the procedures for clearing the fractions in an equation by applying the multiplication property of equality. I ask each student to label the first index card, “Clearing Fractions”, and, to use the guided procedures to solve the equation showing all work. Each student in a group should individually attempt the solving without help.
I walk around observing the students’ work and guiding them, but not correcting them. I tell my students to stop after solving the equation. After a few minutes, I ask students to interchange cards within their group. Then, the students can and assess and correct the work of their group. Allow the necessary time for this, then tell students to return the cards to their owners.
Common Issue: When multiplying by the least common denominator students may forget to multiply the constant term(s) in the equation by the LCD. With this task, make sure students see that multiplying each of the three terms by 20 requires the use of the Distributive Property.
I ask students to discuss the two questions in their groups and then write answers on their own cards. Allow time for students to discuss their responses to the questions within their table groups.
As a final step, I call on a student to solve the equation on the board. Then, I call on students to read the answers to the questions from the back of the index cards.
Part 2: Clearing Decimals
As we transition to decimals, I project the Clearing Decimals Resource on the whiteboard. I ask each student to label the 2nd index card “Clearing Decimals” and solve the equation, showing all work as they complete the necessary procedures. Once again, I ask students to exchange cards and check each other’s work. I allow plenty of time for discussion. Students should discuss the questions before recording answers on the back of the card. Finally, I ask a student to solve the equation on the board. Then, I ask other students to read the answers to the questions.