## Monday, August 5, 2013

### Sometimes Mistakes Aren't that Bad..

I made this simple little foldable to teach finding the value of an expression given the values of the variables.  My only problem after finishing it and looking at it for a second was that I made an equation not an expression!  After a big sigh I was back to the drawing board and did come up with something.  However, this got me thinking a lot.

I started thinking about what I liked about this.  I liked that it was a hands on manipulation of an equation.  It involved thought and planning to create.  It required an understanding of input and output to be able to create.  Students also had the freedom to customize the values on their foldable.  I likes how it laid out a mapping of a function.

There seemed like my "opps!" had a lot of good surrounding it, so I didn't want to let it go.  Then it hit me!  Linear equations are always tough.  Especially when they first start to learn about two variables.  When we make tables, there doesn't always seem to be a connection between how one variable changes and its affect on the other.  So, I went back to the drawing board again and here is what I created.

I really like it, especially for my 7th grade math kiddos.  The first introduction to equations with two variables will be this year.  Hopefully, this will help solidify the idea of what is happening in two variable equations.

Now, here is what I originally set out to create:

As students replace the "a" with a value, the value of the expression can be calculated and moved into position.  A couple of tips: 1) Think about how you want it to look in the INB, especially composition notebooks.  My first one was too big for the notebook and I had to downsize.  2) I found it was easier if I traced the yellow strips width onto the paper and then determined where to cut the openings.  It was also way easier to change the size of my strips than to try and open the openings more.