Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cool Activity for Solving Radicals

Skateboard, Sport, Skater, Radical  I am teaching solving radicals in my Algebra II classroom.  Due to admin work, I have a substitute in my classroom so I went looking for activities to assign tomorrow.

I came across this cool idea to help students learn to solve equations with radicals.  Miss Calculate's blog has an activity where students use strips to solve an equation.

She wrote the steps for solving a specific problem on strips.  The first step of the problem was marked with a star to show students where to start.  Then they arranged the remaining strips in order till the last strip which is the x = answer.  

Now there is a digital way to do this same activity.  Intel Education has a visual ranking tool which can easily be used to create digital strips.  You simply put in the steps, one step per slip, make sure the steps are not in order and save it.  When the students do this the ranking is not based on importance but on the order of the steps.

This visual ranking tool works on iPads, android devices, iPhones, and Windows computers.  It is nice knowing that it will work on the iPads because they developed a free app you can find in the itunes store.

Think about how this same process would work for solving equations with variables on both sides, solving systems of equations, solving multistep equations with the distributive property, geometry proofs, ranking the most important properties for 3D and 2D figures such as the most important for a square, rectangle, kite, trapezoid, etc.  This offers so many possibilities for use in the classroom.