Another week completed!.
Our literacy work is struggling and stumbling along (This weekend my focus will be refining our CAFE work). But math is going MUCH better! (Finally!)
If you're like me, money is short and time is limited. Still, you want to have opportunities for math instruction (and interaction) that are beyond paper-pencil. If you are REALLY like me, you just want another excuse to cut up colored cardstock on your 1993 vintage paper cutter!
Here's a quick game that helps kids practice combining like terms. I like to do a few games like this early in the school year. The sixth graders often ask, "When can we do algebra again? Algebra is fun!" Isn't that music to a teacher's ears!
Run off enough pages on cardstock to have a set for each two or three kids. (I've never tried it with four... but if they can collaborate and cooperate, good on you!) And if you have one of those "Can-I-Help-You?" Pals with scissors and a smile, you can get out of cutting too! (I, of course, have offered to cut the pieces for other classes! Crazy, I know!)
Each player chooses two cards initially. They work together to combine like terms, discussing putting the variables in alpha order with units at the end of the expression. I usually have to remind them that this is not an equation; we're not solving, just practicing combining the terms. They talk about it and write the expression on the white boards.
After they have chatted about several combinations, I ask each partner to choose three cards--making a total of six. If you're brave and they're ready, you can have them play "Write. Share. Compare"
After looking at the cards, each partner writes the expression. They count "1-2-3- Share" and then compare. If there is a discrepancy, they talk it through. I love to hear: "Oooooh. I get it now!" You can adjust the number of cards based on skill (and determination!) Often, I start with adding terms only, but some partnerships are already for subtracting--and negative numbers quite quickly.
I posted the page on google.docs, so you can make the cards easier or more difficult to suit the needs of your kiddos.
I hope that someone can adapt this activity for her/his class. And I hope you'll let me know if it works for you Have fun!
Link back to the party at Clutter-Free Classroom!