My first thought when creating my lessons is how can I get students curious! Sometimes curiosity will come out from Act 1 of a 3 Act math task. Or sometimes it’s from a puzzelly type open activity that makes students struggle.
Here is MY new struggle:
How can I make students curious when teaching collecting like terms, and eventually the distributive property?
Last year’s opener to teach collecting like terms:
- Give them a perimeter problem where the sides have an unknown value.
- Ask for an expression for the perimeter in terms of x.
- Now here is x….find the perimeter.
And that’s it! Every time I do this kids are confused and ask “Why didn’t we just have the value of x to begin with?”
I want a task that makes us curious and need to use like terms to simplify an expression.
Task 1: Order Up
Task 2: Dora to the Rescue