Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Teach My Lesson

So... I'm just a little over a month behind on posting Week 4 of the MTBoS 2016 Blogging Initiative.  What can I say, February was a crazy month for me: there were multiple snow days and delays, I took skiing vacation with my husband to Snowshoe, West Virginia, and I attended a statewide conference on PowerSchool. Regardless, I've finally caught up with my typical school and home duties so I'm able to finish up the post I started weeks ago.

This was the lesson I taught on Wednesday, February 4th, 2016 with my Math 1 students. Prior to this lesson we had been studying linear functions and had on graphs, tables and equations. My students were struggling to see the connections between everything and I wanted an activity to tie everything together.  I went online to see if anything like this was already created and I found this but it didn't have everything I wanted, so I decided to create my own.

In my card sort activity I included the following for 8 problems: slope, y-intercept, graph, table, description of slope, equation in standard form, and equation in slope-intercept form. I originally thought about including distractions but once my students got started, I was glad I didn't. They had enough misconceptions without the distractions! Thanks to @mathymeg07 for introducing me to her favoriteGraph Free, so that I could create readable graphs for my card sort.

 I had students partner off. I didn't want my students working in their groups of  four because I knew that all students would not participate in the discussion.  I was afraid that if I had groups of 4, one or two students would do all the work and the others would contribute very little. Being with a partner forced the students to talk. My directions to students were to get with their partner and to match each graph to the correct slope, y-intercept, equation, etc.   

 Almost every group was able to easily match the equation in slope-intercept form with the graph, except for one set. [I had completed the card sort the night before and realized I didn't have the x-axis and y-axis labeled on my graphs, so it would be troublesome for students to understand the orientation of the graph. As a result, I quickly re-created my graphs but had a mistype in one of the equations. So one graph didn't have a matching equation. Woops!]

Students worked well with their partners to come with the 8 unique sets. However, it seemed like groups could match certain characteristics together, but couldn't always match their parts with the rest of the set. For instance, if students matched the slope-intercept equation with the standard form equation and graph, then matched the table with the slope, y-intercept; they struggled two put the two matches together to make one complete set.  But with a little guidance, students were able to successfully complete their sets. 

I would call this lesson a success! All students were engaged with the task and talking about how to solve it. It took almost the entire 90 minute block to give directions, have students complete the task and then create their display. It was well worth the class time to have students make the connections between the equations, graphs, tables and characteristics of linear functions.

Files to this card sort: word document or PDF
(These files have the correct graphs!)

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