So I taught absolute value equations in Algebra II. And so far I think things have gone fairly well. I read Kate Nowak’s post on how she did absolute values, and I thought I would change my more traditional introduction to them… but I didn’t. I realized that the way Kate was motivating it (with the distance on the numberline model) was great, but I felt I could still get deep conceptual understanding with the traditional way she eschewed in her post.
So I stuck with that.
I used exit cards to see how they could do… and they were okay.
But after learning how to solve or , I asked kids to solve things like or something similar. Many students said on their home enjoyment:
It is unsurprising to me, and yet, it makes me want to throw up. Because what’s coming more and more into focus, and I’m sure you’re going to hear me complain about this more and more in the coming months, is how reliant students are on “coming up with rules” and “applying rules” — without thinking. They desperately want unthinking rules. And this year, because I can’t handle throwing up all the time, I’m vowing to really not give rules to them.
I really got to the heart of this “I LIKE PROCEDURES” thing with them with a true-false activity that I did, using my poor man clickers. I think this exercise highlighted how dependent my kids are on procedures and coming up with simple rules that help them in the short term… but that can hurt them in the long term… It’s a bunch of True-False questions. And when we talked about each one of them, my class saw concretely how reliant they were on misconceptions and false rules. EVERY SINGLE QUESTION led to a great short discussion.
So here they are, for you to use. Sadly, I don’t have the blank slides to share with you, because my school laptop is not with me at home now.
These were great for asking “so who wants to justify their answer?”