Students enter silently according to the Daily Entrance Routine. For the next two days students will be reviewing key algebraic topics to prepare for the state exam. The Do Now assignments will therefore include introductory skills needed for this topic.
In the first day of algebraic review we will cover expressions and on the second day we will cover equations. The first Do Now includes some translation practice, a skill students struggled with at the beginning of the school year, when we first covered this topic. It is thus important to continue reviewing these key topics in an introductory manner. They should be further reviewed, with more details and examples, during class notes:
In the second day of algebraic review we will cover solving multistep equations. The Do Now on this second day includes three equations, each with more steps that the previous. The first example includes a 2 step equation with negatives. The following equation is multi-step, including distribution and combining like terms. The final equation includes the same skills but uses decimals, thus more complex. Again, the key topics that ought to be reviewed and further detailed during classwork are:
For this second day, solving multi step equations, it is key to target students struggling at each level. Those who struggle with 2-step equations should NOT be moving on to multistep equations. They should spend as much time as possible mastering two step equations, even if they never get to multi step equations. MP8 is at work as students are pushed to solve using different steps and methods. Questions such as “did anyone solve a different way and get the same answer?” are important as well as allowing these students to explain their process to the entire class. As much as possible, always refer to a concrete equation where all variables are known to check the validity of a process
After reviewing key topics and solutions to Do Now problems, we review the answers to the homework only. Students are responsible for asking each other, or me, about solutions they do not understand during the class work section.
This is the time during class that the bulleted list of key topcs can be reviewed in more detail.
On the first day, we begin by working with numeric expressions alone. After checking classwork and exit tickets the previous days (number operations), data showed students needed to continue working with their operations. I try to merge this need with expressions so that we may continue moving through our test prep unit. Students are given 10 minutes to complete as many problems as possible from pages 1 – 3. They are told that each page that is completed in full and correctly will be used tomorrow in a Trashketball game at the end of class. Working in pairs or independently is acceptable. Students will have any number of opportunities to bring me their answers to check so that they may achieve this goal within this first ten minutes. Trashketball is a big motivator! For more details on how to play this game please review my first trashketball lesson in our first unit.
After 10 minutes have passed, students are asked to move on to the word problems at the end of the class work. These are also pages to be included in trashketball should all problems be compelted correctly. I will be guiding students through the first two problems, focusing on using MP2 to drive our review. This means the following questions are in use as much as possible:
For the second day, I will be guiding students through the first couple of examples in the classwork, using MP8 to drive that discussion. Students ought to be asked:
This section is longer than other class notes because it is important to allow students to discuss and ask as many questions as needed. Group work along with pauses to display student work on the board and explanations from students are key components in this section.
Students will also be given some time to work independently to complete the class work. Again, they will be reminded that complete sheets from the first day and second day of algebraic review will count towards “shot” at the trash basket at the end of class.
As students work independently, this is a great opportunity to pull a small group aside to work closely and address any misunderstanding in a smaller setting. As much as possible, cycling through the same questions detailed in the class notes will be important. The use of white boards can release some of the anxiety students feel when they struggle to solve. Also, being in a smaller setting with other students may help them feel more comfortable asking and sharing misunderstandings.
On the first day of Algebra review students will use this time to finish any work left undone or ask questions. This is a good time to cycle back to struggling students, giving them additional tips or problems on white boards to continue working toward mastery.
On the second day, after lots of hard work, students need this time to decompress and have some fun. Any sheet of class work paper that was checked and signed by me will need a name on it. Three trash baskets will be set up throughout the room and students will line up in front of them to shoot. At the end, I will be collecting any papers that made their way in and tally the points per student. A winner will be announced. He/she will be allowed to pick the movie to be shown after the state test, Day 1 (our school builds “decompression” time into the schedule on these days), and the snack to be provided.