After a week off it was back to class at 8 am. Sadly, there was little to no heat in the building so I had my coat on for much of the morning. It was only -26 degrees outside - who would need heat?!? There were actually icicles in the girls' washroom! Thankfully, my classroom warmed up as the morning progressed even if the math/English office is still like an ice hut.
Today we started solving systems of linear equations. Only without any equations. Here is the first problem they worked on:
By the way, these are Smarties. Those things Americans call Smarties are called Rockets here.
My students used patterns to represent the Smarties and jujubes and they used square tiles to represent the pennies (we no longer use pennies in Canada). I will definitely source out some pennies as I think they will help students better understand.
I hoped they would jump right in and start modelling the problem with the manipulatives, but they built things and made pretty patterns and didn't really know where to start.
I circulated and got each group going. Here are some examples of their work:
It was interesting to me that the student doing this was trying to move pennies from one side onto the other side, which is why I added circles (okay, so they are not really circles) to the solution. It made it clear to the student that the pennies have to stay within the circle.
I think I would have them work in pairs next time. Some were not as engaged as I would have liked, but overall I think it was a good introduction to solving systems. More tomorrow!