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Summer SAVY, Session 2 Day 3, Adventures in Algebra (3rd – 4th)

Posted by on Wednesday, June 19, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

We had a great day on Day 3 of Adventures in Algebra!  

This morning, as always, we began with another Math Think from Graham Fletcher. We watched as two citizens in Duluth, Minnesota walked outside into a snowy, winter wonderland and tossed a mug of water into the air; the water immediately froze into powdery snow. Our mathematicians rightly assumed that it was FREEZING; we developed the math question, “What is the temperature in Duluth?” Students were presented with another piece of information: a weather map showing temperatures across the United States and a fact reading, “There is a 31-degree difference between the temperature in Duluth and the temperature in Atlanta, Georgia.” We could see on the map that Atlanta’s temperature was 7 degrees Fahrenheit. The mathematicians quickly set up the expression 7 – 31 to solve for Duluth’s temperature, but this created a lot of questions. How do we subtract a large number from a small number?  

After we explored and accurately solved expressions with negative and positive integers, we went back to Hands-on Equations. Yesterday, the mathematicians were already solving two-step equations, so we leveled up. First, we learned how to distribute and solve equations like 2(x + 3) = 10. Then, we met a new variable, “Star.” Ask your mathematician about “Star” and her “legal moves” in Hands-on Equations. What is Star’s relationship to X-Man? If X-Man is 2, what is Star? Why? Hopefully, they’ll tell you that Star is X-Man’s opposite; they have the same value (distance from zero), but when X-Man is positive, Star is negative. We solved some impressive equations with the knowledge of negative and positive integers today!  

After lunch, we discussed precision in procedural writing to prepare for writing board game instructions. Students wrote me the steps for creating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and I followed them EXACTLY. Ask your students how many times I ended up with peanut butter or jelly on my hands and face! We learned the importance of being overly specific in our board game instructions. We also looked at Clue as a good example of board game instructions. Students wrote out their board game instructions in a rough draft, and we headed to the computer lab to type the instructions.  

Tomorrow will be amazing! We’ll do increasingly more complex equations with Hands-On Equations, play an escape game to put our equation-solving skills to the test, and check out materials to build our board games. Your student may ask to create some materials tonight for the game; this is totally optional.  

Tonight, you can ask your mathematician about their board game instructions, positive and negative integers, and Star.  

Ms. Whiting