Middle School Weekly Learning: Highlighting Algebra
Seventh and eighth grade mathematicians in Mrs. Jones’ Algebra class, a course for which they receive high school credit, are preparing for their cumulative final exam. One of the concepts students practiced this week was solving systems of linear equations. A system of equations is a collection of two or more equations with a same set of unknowns. In solving a system of equations, students must find values that satisfy every equation in the system (i.e makes every equation true). Students were exposed to three different strategies for solving systems (graphing, elimination, and substitution), and explored the benefits and limitations of each method as well as why it’s necessary to be proficient in all three.
As part of their review for this unit, students participated in the cooperative learning game, Showdown. This learning strategy allows for both individual and group accountability. Students were placed into teams of four and presented with systems of equations that they were required to solve using a specific method. Working on white boards, each student silently and independently solved the problem, only revealing their answers, and taking time to compare and discuss, when the teacher said “Showdown”! Points were earned based on the number of team members that correctly solved the problem.
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