My colleagues and I choose to to teach inequalities (simple, compound, absolute value, linear, systems and quadratic) all in one clump after solving quadratic equations. March 20th, I got started with solving simple inequalities and unions and intersections. Since solving inequalities always goes so quickly as by March everyone is comfortable with solving, I like launching into unions and intersections on the same day.
Once we get into trickier problems, like the union of x's greater than -1 with x's greater than 5, having this analogy to draw upon is super helpful.
As is most of what I teach, the party analogy for teaching unions and intersections was borrowed from a colleague. I tell them this story: I want to throw a party that includes the union of all kids who do ________ with all kids who went to ___________ elementary school. I change the blanks dependent upon who is in the room. Then I change it to the intersection, making my party a lot smaller, meaning a lot fewer sodas to purchase.
|Big Party vs Little Party|
The week of March 23 was spent doing more with compound inequalities, formative assessments, correcting quadratics Test, absolute value equations and closed with a favorite - white board stamp game.
On a whim though last Sunday (3/22... sheesh I am behind on this blog), I threw out a quick tweet to the #mtbos asking if there is a better way to teach absolute value inequalities. Before sending said tweet, I had been sure that my question would be a dead end. How could there be any other way, other than telling them to set it equal to the number and then the opposite of the number?
I am always
over-confident/wrong, pleasantly surprised bow how awesome the #mtbos is. Almost immediately, @samjshah, @danburf, and several others chimed in with ideas like this and this and this and this. Love it!
I went with @fawnpnguyen's script because if there is anything I have learned since participating in the #Mtbos, that would to always try what Fawn says.
Once again, I was not disappointed. This approach led to excellent conversation and an overall engaging class.
How does it match up to my (ever evolving) inventory of what makes
a good an engaging lesson:
- fun and interesting
- it's a game with prizes
- problem based
- inquiry based
- connected to an application
- doesn't water down the mathematics or resort to tricks
- gets kids collaborating,talking, teaching, writing, using technology in a meaningful way
Definitely meets at least two of the requirements.