What's the problem?

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SWBAT write equations to solve real world problems and explain their work

Big Idea

Students will have to discuss and solve problems using equations, but they must listen carefully, because it may be their turn to explain it to others!


10 minutes

The launch task is a writing assignment involving a word problem in the application worksheet of our previous lesson. I ask my students who were successful with this problem yesterday to try their best to pair up with a student who did not get to complete the Dog_Breeder_Problem. I may do some of the pairing up myself based on knowing who struggled with the problem yesterday.

Once the pairs are established, I will hand each student a Writing Task worksheet. Then, I will ask each student to:

  1. Describe how they came up with an equation to model the problem (MP4)
  2. Report the steps they took to solve the equation. 

Once students complete Parts 1 and 2, I will also ask them to list common mistakes that are made when solving an equation like this one.  Finally, they should check their answer in the space provided.

To wrap-up this activity, I will have partners check each other's work. As partners review the responses, I will go around reading and helping students to be clear and specific in their writing (MP6). Once they have reviewed the work, the students will discuss problem together, providing the opportunity for questioning and explanation (MP3).



Station Activity

40 minutes

After the writing task and the follow-up work, I will give my students a Station Activity to provide a less structured, interactive experience. Prior to the lesson I have cut out the Station Activity Cards and pasted each onto a piece of construction paper. Each card display is placed at a separate. In my room, station 4 chairs and a table where students can sit and work together.

When the students are ready, I will randomly divide the class into six groups. As I give students there group number, I ask that they go sit at their station.

Once the students are seated I ask that they read their task card solve the problem together.

  • Students should have their notebooks with them or a pad to take notes. 
  • Each group must make sure that all its members comprehend the task and be ready to explain to the class. 
  • If a member of the group is struggling, it's the responsibility of fellow members to help this student understand the work done.
  • Every student should have work on their paper and be prepared to demonstrate the problem to the class. 

After 5 minutes I give a warning that there is 1 minute left to work. After 6 minutes, I ask students to move to their next numbered station. This I do until all groups have visited and all six stations. I ask students to be patient if they did not get to complete a task, because I will allow some time at the end to do so. 

Once everyone is done, I choose one student from each group to go to the board, and write their work to one of the tasks. Sometimes I ask specific students or I can say things like..."the youngest, or the oldest student in each group", please go up to the board and write their work. At the end, all six problems should be solved and checked on the board. This really ends the lesson.

Any questions or comments should be made as the students work. If there is a question or comment on problem 5, for example, I will ask the student who did Problem 5 on the board to answer. Otherwise, I will call on any other student in the class to help.