Three times a week, I will be working with six 8th graders on Algebra 1. These students usually finish their work quickly and then have nothing to do for the rest of class. Once they are done their assigned math work, we meet in the library to revisit the lesson or work on real-world math application.

Today, we talked about what the students wanted from the enrichment program and reviewed the math they had already done. Since they were beginning  new unit, we decided to focus on the textbook for the class period. I split them up into two groups. One group read the section on Proportional Linear Equations, and the other Non-proportional Linear Equations. Each group was responsible for learning the lesson, demonstrating an example, and answering questions for the other group. They were therefore a little bit responsible for the other group’s learning.

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8th Grade Algebra students teach each other proportional linear equations

Once the routine sets in, my plan is for the students to choose their own projects. They would have to research, create equations, and present on the project they choose. Options I have thought of include:

  • They will be a travel agency and have to create an equation for vacations. This requires researching a place and all the expenses for living and activities. Then they will make equations for expenses with variables such as time, quality of housing/food, and number of people.
  • Pick an activity and tell me everything you can in equations and graphs. Soccer, for example, may include a representation of angles for kicking the ball, goalie saves over time, and professional teams winning patterns.
  • Finding math outside in tree growth patterns, fibonacci sequences in pinecones and leaves, charting snowfall, etc.
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