Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Another (low prep) open ended set of questions

Again--nothing fancy here and hopefully that is the point. We did another set of tiered questions for a lesson warmup today to pre assess and to scaffold on their existing knowledge. Students could choose which question they wanted to do and we made connections along the way through each one.
Here is the set of questions:
Choose one of the following examples to do:
1. In the equation 4x + 3y = 13, what is the value of y when x=1.5?
2. Rewrite the equation 4x + 3y = 13 in y=mx+b form.
3. Rewrite the equation y-c=c(x+3) in y=mx+b form.
I flat out told students that the easiest is #1 and the most challenging is #3. We have not done any work to this point with solving an equation for a variable when more than 1 variable is present. The student that solved and explained #1 lays the groundwork for what the class will hear for the student that chose #2 and so on. Before the activity students were not ready to answer any question related to #3 but by the end of the discussion the whole class had something to build on for determining the slope and y-intercept present in #3.
Students overall appreciate being able to choose and will often go for the more challenging level (at their ability) when that choice is present. It also helps in leading the lesson more naturally and organically than just a teacher lecture prepared in advance.