Days: 79-80 Writing expressions, special cases

I’m dabbling in math workshop model and I see a glimmer of hope that I’ll be able to eventually make the transition. There are some elements of the workshop model that I already do, but other aspects need work. A more complete post can be found here. Below is a brief overview of the past two days.


I introduced writing expressions and equations using a warm-up. I handed out four expressions.

writing expressions

Students shared their answers under the document camera. This led to the mini-lesson which included using a term with a coefficient instead of the multiplication symbol x and interpreting the division symbol as a fraction bar. (And the kids thought they we were done with fractions!) For the rest of the period the students worked in pairs completing this puzzle:

expressions puzzle

They didn’t have enough time to finish the puzzle, so we’ll pick it up again next week. When we debrief we’ll reflect on both strategies examine the translations. As I checked on the pairs I heard one student say, “Look for ‘equals 12’ to see if it matches” Another said, “Subtract means minus. Where are all the minuses?” Even though those strategies help the student complete the puzzle, the point of the puzzle is to analyze the translations. I can’t overlook that when we debrief.


Students entered the class with this warm-up:

variables both sides2

Most chose to solve by using their newly discovered method of clearing fractions. One student chose to solve it by keeping the fractions.


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