Students enter silently according to the Daily Entrance Routine. There are Do Nows at their desks. There is also a SMARTboard random name generator displayed on the board showing all student names in the class. I instruct students to take their seats quickly so that I can assign problems at the board. Students sit in anticipation and wait to see which name is generated. The name generator makes a beeping sound as it randomly searches through the list to select a name. Each list is saved and updated from the day before and includes a “no repeat” box. This means each day I use the same SMART file, the generator will select different students who have not been selected on previous days. As each name is selected, I assign those students to the board to complete problems 1 – 3 in the Do Now. These three students are instructed to solve their given problem as quickly as possible and then return to their seats to complete the rest.
Students are usually given 4 – 5 minutes of independent work time to complete all “Do Now” problems. As I walk around to evaluate student work and give feedback I look out for students who may have incorrectly translated #1 (Twelve less than a number is 54. What is the number?) as 12 – x = 54. If I see that students incorrectly translated I would say, “your equation says a number less than 12, not twelve less than a number” as I point to each of the terms written on their paper. Since I point to the terms backwards, this allows students to understand that the word “than” in this expression indicates a different ordering of the terms in the subtraction sentence. Many students falsely believe that the terms are written in the order that they appear in the verbal expression.
Once students have had 5 minutes to work I ask everyone to track and we review the answers as a class. Tracking the speaker is a traditionally, and explicitly taught skill at our school. Students are expected to look at the person speaking to show they are paying attention. I call on three student volunteers to give me their answers and a brief explanation on how they found their answer. Once we are finished I ask all students to clear their desks of everything but a pencil for the next activity.
Flip Book Activity
I head to the back of the classroom where I organized class notes and “flip book” sheets into two different stacks. I clap for students’ attention and let them know that I will be calling them to the back in groups of three to retrieve their materials. Then they are to return to their desks to copy the aim at the top of their paper. Students are allowed to have quiet conversations during this time. This is the first time this year that I am using the word “quiet” as opposed to silent. I let students know that this is also a test to see if they understand the definition of “quiet” talk. Once all students have been handed the materials I return to the front of the class and clap again for attention.
I ask students to note the 6 headers in the “notes” section of their paper: symmetric, transitive, distributive property, simplifying expressions, equations +, - and equations X, ÷. To check for understanding I ask 6 students to read these headers. Then I ask students to take a hold of the 4 sheets of paper I provided (the “flip book” materials). I ask students to make sure that the papers are in the same order in which I gave them and review this order. Then I ask them to line up the edges of each paper with the dotted lines at the top and bottom of the sheets. Then I have students fold their papers. The dotted lines were printed on 4 double sided sheets so that the dotted lines line up with the edges of the paper and create a flip book when folded. The edges of the flip book will be the same as the 6 headers we reviewed in the notes. Students are given 15 minutes to copy all the information in their notes into their flip book. They must also solve the one step equations on the last two headers in their flip book. I let them know that this is a study tool and that they should refer back to these rules often. If they were able to prove as a class that they know the meaning of “quiet” conversations during the distribution of the papers, then they are allowed to continue to have quiet conversations while they construct their study tool. If they were loud and silly, they will be told which specific behaviors were not “quiet” and will complete this activity silently.
After 15 minutes have passed students are asked to stop working on their flip books. Worksheets are distributed and a student volunteer is selected to read the directions. Students are to solve each equation and substitute each answer into the next equation to solve for the second variable. There are 7 questions total. The answer to #7 should be the same answer to #1. This is how students will know if they solved each equation correctly. As I walk around I guide students who are confused about the directions. I ask them to solve for y on number 1. Then I ask them to substitute this answer into y for #2 and solve for x. While I am circulating and helping with directions, I also reinforce the process of solving equations by isolating the variable and using opposite operations. If a student looks confused I try to guide them toward a question without giving them the answer. Students are in use of MP1 as they analyze the relationships between the variables, the coefficients, the constants and the relationships between the opposite operations.
After 15 minutes I ask all students to stop working. I will be using this time to remediate for students who showed struggle during the puzzle activity. Any student who did not finish or did not get matching answers for problem #1 and #7 will be asked to create a group toward the front of the room while all other students will be allowed to go into booths to complete their flip books and/or add information that will help them study. Extra problems will be available in textbooks for students who choose to add more problems to their flip books. For students working with me to remediate, I will be showing all work and answers on the white board. Once we are done reviewing all the answers I will ask this group of students to pick three equations and complete the check steps while I go check on the other group of students. After 10 minutes homework will be distributed and class is dismissed.