For this Entry Ticket: Creating Equations Inequalities in One Variable, I try to activate student's prior knowledge by having them complete a number of translation problems -that is taking a number sentence and translating the sentence into a mathematical expression.
I like to begin the lesson in this way because it gives me valuable baseline information. Many students struggle with some of these translations, especially involving subtraction. For example, a common mistake is to write "seven less than a number" as 7 - n rather than the correct n -7.
For the first 5-7 minutes of class, students work on the problems independently. I then give students 2-3 minutes to Turn and Talk with a classmate about picking 1-2 problems they had difficulty and try to solve them together. The section ends with a brief review of problems - I like to have students nominate a few problems they would like to review as a whole class.
In this section students are active note takers using Two-Column Note form from the Class Slides: Creating and Solving Equations and Inequalities.
During this time I am sure to provide Explicit Instruction, clearly stating the how and the why of solving the different types of problems. I encourage students to engage in active note-taking strategies during this process so the problems serve as a reference that they can use for help with homework and studying for tests.
I also review a step-wise organizer, the Five Star Steps for Solving Equations and Inequalities to help students learn a general process for solving a number of different equations and inequalities.
Student engagement is a big part of the note taking process. While I have a set of problems and solutions to review with the class, I try to include a number of prompts along the way to keep students engaged and thinking about the process. What I want to avoid is students passively copying down notes from the board.
The class then turns its efforts to the Collaborative Work: Creating and Solving Equations and Inequalities.
Students work on the problems in small groups (3-5 students) and I am rotating between groups. For my honors class, I have all groups complete all the problems, and assign one problem to each group to present to the class. For my CP and Fundamentals sections, I start by assigning one problem for each group to focus on and to explain to the class.
After the groups have had some time to work on the problems, I have each group present their focus problem to the class. During this time, the other groups have the task of asking clarifying questions and making revisions to their own work.
In order to balance group and individual accountability, I tend to give each group a grade for their presentation and have every student turn in their own complete assignment which I grade.
To conclude class, I review the HW: Create Your Own Equation/Inequality (Rule of 4) for class. I also allow students to begin the homework assignment if there are a few minutes left in class.
For tonight's Homework, students are asked to create their own scenario that can be modeled with an equation or an inequality. I ask students to create four different representations (verbal description, equation/inequality, graph and table) to help students make connections between the different representations.