My Algebra 2 students are working on some word problems that set up as systems. They are finding out how many of each type of ticket was sold for the homecoming dance or how many quarters and dimes make $3.45 -- that type of thing.
I thought that students would better understand the process if they wrote their own problem, so I wrote up the sheet below. In the interest of spending less time at the front of the room blah-blah-ing away, I wrote it so that students can read the instructions and work through the process on their own. They start with a problem we've already solved, and replace its parts one at a time. They will illustrate and solve the problem when they are done.
Write Your Own WP
Here's my reflection:
Students seemed to really enjoy this activity. They all dug in and did it. I just walked around and answered a few questions here and there. I also asked each student to check in with me at a couple of different points to make sure they were on track. When they finished, they were just tickled that their problem worked out as planned. In the end, they were more confident about these problems.
I like this activity, I really do. But . . .
I am really wondering if it makes sense to keep doing these types of problems this way, or at all. The whole process is quite hand hold-y. Students are really just learning to follow a procedure here. I am sure there is a better way to teach systems. Keep the old-school word problems, or ditch them? Replace them with what?
Conclusion: Today I accomplished exactly what I tried to accomplish. However, I am not sure if what I am accomplishing is what I really want to/should accomplish.