Wednesday is my usual word problem day. Since the classes are about 15 minutes shorter, I try to focus on helping students learn to solve word problems using a methodical process. Last week, we began an activity out the a NCTM publication on mathematical clocks.
Problem 2 required the students to create their own mathematical clock. I passed out the paper with a circle drawn on it so students could start creating their own clock. I did have to put parameters on what they could use as equations, otherwise I would have had students filling their clocks with things like 0 + 1, 1 + 1, 1 + 2, etc. or the square root of 1, 4, 9, etc or even 1 * 1, 1*2, etc.
I had to use these parameters because many of my students are lazy and take the easiest way out. By the end of the period, after a bunch of complaining, my students were actually producing some decent equations.
This is an example of one I put together using Sketchbook Express on my computer. I have two drawing programs on the ipad I plan to have my students use to produce a final product after they get all the equations worked out.
I like this activity because it makes the students slow down and really think about what makes an equation that will produce a specific result. Several students wrote equations that produced 1/3 instead of 3 or 27 instead of 3. I think I'll put this activity in my file of repeat activities.