Open ended activity for "Finding Slope of Line"
Passing a book, Linear Modeling Activity
Rap for solving equations Slow Down and do the 2 step
Making Face or Design with Equations
Problem Solving with Patterns

Mystery Blocks

Participants will calculate the surface area and volume of various sized blocks of wood. They measure the mass, water displaced when floating, and water displaced when submerged of the blocks. Several important concepts are discovered as well as a “surprise” about the blocks.

Smoke and Croak or Huff and Puff

Find out how blowing up a balloon can be used to engage students in learning about volume, graphing, slope and linear equations. Student collect data from a balloon that is blown up, graph the data, and make some interesting discoveries. Science connections are also created.

Pendulum Activity

Bouncing Ball Activity

Problems Without Numbers

Problems without numbers is a series of worksheets that have word problems with blanks left for the numbers. Students fill the blanks and create equations on how to solve the problem.

Pass the Pen and "You Take the Right Side and I'll Take the Left"

Pass the Pen is an activity where one person starts a problem, does one step and passes the paper to the next person. A similar activity "You Take the Right Side and I'll Take the Left" has student work together solving an equation with each person only working on the right or left side of the equation. This idea comes from a blog post from Dave Sladkey found at .

Lotus Chart

Lotus Chart is a graphic organizer that allows the teacher to provide some organization but requires that the students add the notes or details.

Balance Beam to Solve Equation

  • “Equal Shmequal” by Virginia Kroll What does it mean to be equal? Mouse and her friends want to play tug-of-war but they can't figure out how to make teams that are equal. Nothing works until Mouse starts thinking mathematically. Wonderful illustrations capture Mouse and her animal friends from whiskers to tails. NCTM Teaching Children Mathematics, "Early Understanding of Equality", November 2013, p 247-252.
  • NCTM Teaching Children Mathematics, “Technology to Develop Algebraic Reasoning” April 2011 pages 475-478
  • “Using Technology to Balance Algebraic Equations” Teaching Children Mathematics, May 2013 pages 554-562
  • Balance Scale Power Point contains the slides with shapes that are on scales. Need to determine the missing weights. Consider using pattern blocks or other manipulatives to represent the weights and actually let the student move the shapes.
  • Block Pounds worksheet from Illuminations, not an applet. Weight of various shapes are shown. Students need to determine the weight of each object. Elementary and could be used before Pan Balance Shapes.
  • Geology Rocks Equations worksheet from Illuminations not an applet. Determine how many rocks are inside of a box by using a balance.
  • Pan Balance-Shapes from Illuminations April 2011 TCM, Technology to develop Algebraic Reasoning.
  • Pan Balance-Numbers from Illuminations
  • Pan Balance-Expressions from Illuminations
  • The sites below come from Using Technology to Balance Algebraic Equations, Teaching Children Mathematics, May 2013
  • Balancing Act from PBS for elementary, no numbers but is sensitive to how far from the center the objects are place on the balance beam. Could be used as a way to have students experience a titter totter.
  • Can You Balance for elementary, similar to Pan Balance-Numbers in that students need to get the same number of cubes on each side of the balance.
  • Poodle Weigh In from PBS for elementary, add weights to find the weight of various poodles.
  • Monkey Balance Math does have short commercial. More like an arcade game to balance numbers, increases in difficulty, does not save level when end.
  • Balance Beam Activity Similar to Pan Balance Shapes. I had problems getting this to work which may be due to the applet.
  • Algebra Balance Scales from National Library of Virtual Manipulatives, creates an equation that must be solved.
  • Algebra Balance Scales-Negativefrom National Library of Virtual Manipulatives reates an equation that must be solved. Negatives are represented by balloons.
  • Libra Logic Balance Game This is a combination of Tetris and balancing equations.
  • Illuminations Algebra Tiles
  • Numbler is an app for Ipad where players build number sentences/equations in a game similar to scrabble. Play against the computer, play against another student or go online and play. The level of expertise of the computer can be set from easy to genius. Player is given 6 numbers, 4 operations, and = sign for each turn. Bonus points are provide on the game board. Sentences might look like 6 + 2 = 4 X 2 The more numbers used the higher the score. $0.99 upgrade but I am happy with the free version

Who Will Get There First

Students chose a destination and will have a race. Chose a mode of transportation, bike, run, skate, etc. Your friend gets the faster transportation but you get a 6 day head start. Write equations and determine who will win and where you might meet. Blog post with more details and student examples.

Graph of filling a container with water

  • Activity from Dan Meyer post. Scroll down to see the activity.

How Hot Can You Make It?

Students design and build a parabolic receiver or solar collector to learn how a parabola directs the suns rays to the focus. Activities like this reinforce concepts, create relevance and connections for students, and will be remember for a long time. Participants will receive ideas about how to do this activity with your students.

How Did You Do That? Number Tricks and Algebra

Use the mystery behind why a number trick works to help students develop skills in algebra and problem solving. In addition to being motivating, number tricks help students learn to manipulate symbolic expressions as well as formulate and reformulate generalized solution patterns.

Systems of Linear Inequalities

  • Maximize profits examples. Several examples of graphing inequalities to find a maximum or minimum profit are show here.

Line of Best Fit