Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Stations for Real Numbers

Well, school has barely ended and I am already working on next year. There will be no rest for me this summer as I get ready to have a blended, leaning heavily towards flipped, Algebra classroom next year. Making the videos is not what I think will be the most time consuming! What is taking longer is figuring out how to use all of class time that I now have!  In some cases, it is narrowing down the activities that I have and figuring out what will be the best use of the class time.  In other cases it is finding the activity or tweaking something to better fit the topic.

The first lesson that we do in the Saxon Algebra I (2009) text is about classifying real numbers. I like the calk walk activity that I did last year, but I want to use that to review with the following week.  I want to spend the class time after the first video actually practicing classifying the numbers. For some reason, this needs more practice than I usually give it.  So I decided to set up some stations and practice and practice and practice classifying numbers in the real number system.

Here are the stations (I'm still working on the names)...

Station 1: Popsicle Stick Sort 

In this station students will be asked to sort 20 popsicle sticks with different numbers on them.  The white cups are the classifications of natural, whole, integer, rational, and irrational.  The green cups have multiple groups.  I made the categories of irrational/real, rational/real, rational/integer/real, rational/integer/whole/natural/real, and integer/whole/natural/real.  The first task at this station will be to sort the popsicle sticks into any cup that would classify the numbers.  They will then write down 3 observations about how the numbers were sorted.  The second task will be to use only the white cups and decide which is the best classification for each number on the popsicle stick.  They will then write down 3 observations about this task.

Station 2: Real Numbers Concentration

For this station, students play a traditional game of concentration (or memory), but they get a match if the two numbers flipped are from the same set of numbers and they can identify the set.  Students can't use the same set, two times in a row.  So for example, if student 1 made a match using rational numbers as the classification, then he/she couldn't make a match on their next term using rational numbers.  He/she would need to use another set.  I am also not letting them use real numbers for any of the classifications.  Also, all of the cards have a match, but depending on what set students use the last ones may be challenging to classify.

Station 3: Real Life, Real Numbers

In this station, students will be asked to sort the real life situations into the best set of real numbers.  Students will need to explain why they have picked that particular category for the situation.  The trickiest are the circular questions.  Students tend to classify those as rational when it should be irrational.  All of my examples came directly from my textbook.

Station 4: Tic-Tac-Toe: Real Number Style!

This is a basic game of tic-tac-toe with a twist: To win you need to have 3 of the same sets!  Students can pick their own numbers and classify them into any set that the number belongs.  Another student can block them by putting another number in a box and classifying it in a different set.  Some strategy will need to be used and really thinking about the sets that a number can belong.  Students may classify numbers as real in this game.  I'm going to monitor it closely and see if that is all that they are using.  I can always change the rules! :)

Station 5: Real Number Carousel

The last station that I am going to have the kiddos do is a real number carousel that is free on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I am going to have this set up for them to work on while they are waiting for a station or when they finish all of the stations.  Hopefully that will help with down time.

Sorry about the long post.  If you made it all the way to the end, then I hope that you found something useful that will make next year better!  I would love to hear how any of the activities goes for you.  I will update after I try them in the fall!