Reflection: Modeling Reducing Fields - Section 1: Warmup


When students are asked to represent real world contexts mathematically they are engaging in the modeling practice (MP4). For me the most powerful thing about this is that it simultaneously helps students understand the world better and understand the math better. Questions about the context ("how big a gap does a farmer have to have?") along with the constraints of the context (the size of the field) helped them go deeper into the math. 

I may also ask them what is the greatest number x could be and discuss why they think that. Some students may say that x can represent any number, but I would encourage them to go back to the context so they can see that in this case there is a limit, it can't be more than the length of the field. Since the context is a farmer growing crops for profit some students may also argue that even the maximum of x=20 is not realistic either. I want to engage them in this type of argument, because it helps not only with sense making, but also with the practice of argumentation (mp3).

Choosing a context that is familiar to your students is crucial. In math class the context needs to help make sense of the math. My school is in a farming community, so this is a very familiar context for my students. 

  Using context
  Modeling: Using context
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Reducing Fields

Unit 3: Equivalent Expressions
Lesson 18 of 23

Objective: SWBAT use the distributive property and an area model to factor variable expressions.

Big Idea: Students will work to solve a problem using distributive property in a real world context.

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Math, Expressions (Algebra), distributive property with variables, perseverence, real world, extension, variable expressions, generalizing
  54 minutes
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