How can we get students to see the "substitution" method of solving systems of linear equations? How can students feel more successful at solving these equations?
These are the questions my student teacher, Ms. Buckley, was asking and thinking and her answer was STICKY NOTES. The following blog entry will show the lesson ideas and discuss how it changed throughout the day.
These are the questions my student teacher, Ms. Buckley, was asking and thinking and her answer was STICKY NOTES. The following blog entry will show the lesson ideas and discuss how it changed throughout the day.
1) Start with blank sticky notes (great dollar store purchase). She had them ready for groups of 4 at the start of class. (Each student had 4 sticky notes, two sets of two different colors.) 2) Students wrote down a system Ms. Buckley had given them onto the sticky notes. They put y on a sticky all by itself and the expression on the other side of the equal sign on another sticky note, both of the same color. Students physically set the sticky notes equal to each other that both had the y. As a class, they discussed and agreed that y = y. Then they substituted the expression that equaled y, with the SAME color sticky note, so they now had an equation that just contained x to solve. Ms. Buckley modeled this in front of class first so students could see it in action. This was a great visual for those students that needed to see it another way. It was tough for those that are solid in their algebraic thinking. They were frustrated and just wanted to move ahead and start solving. 3) Students were then given 5 systems, ranked from easy to hard. They were to solve two of them, at the ability they felt they could handle, using the sticky note method. She provided the answers so that students could check to see if they were finding the correct solution for each problem. 4) After students had tried two with the sticky notes, they started their inclass practice for the day. They were given 9 systems and asked to choose any 5 to solve. They were also asked to analyze a question from an earlier activity about stacking cups. Things MS. Buckley realized throughout the day:
