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Review with Puzzles

November 1, 2016

We are working on some algebra concepts, and are using some puzzles to check our understanding and review concepts.

These sticks have a question on one end, and an answer on the other.  Students need to match them up.  We are practising expanding binomials, but other types of questions would work equally well.

To be extra tricky one stick doesnt match up, but looks pretty close to some of the question/answer pairs.  It become easy to see which groups are really doing the work, and which are just faking it by what they end up with at the end.
Another puzzle we did focuses on exponent laws and distributive property and combining like terms.  Equilateral triangles with either a simplified or unsimplified wxpression on all or two sides are matched up so that equal expressions touch.

There is only one way to fit the puzzle together.  Grade 9 students learned and practiced skills that were taught while some were away at leadership camp.    Groups were created explicitely with at least one or two “experts”.  Grade 10s used the same puzzle as a review of prerequesite skills before delving further into algebra and factoring.  Both puzzles were inspired by the blog mathequalslove.  Students worked very well in groups of 4 or 5 to complete these puzzles.

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