This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Intervention and Monitoring Tools

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TITLE OF THE INTERVENTION TOOL

Playing with variables and algebraic expressions

ADDRESS TO

Class

COGNITIVE AREA AND MATHEMATICAL DOMAIN ADDRESSED

Memory/Algebra

UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING PRINCIPLES

- Engagement/Sustaining efforts and persistence
- Representation/Perception
- Representation/Language and symbols

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES

- Engineering classroom discussions
- Activating students s resources for one another

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

• 4 boxes:
• Box 1 with cards with numbers from -10 to 10;
• Box 2 with cards with variables (x, y, z, t) (5 times repeated);
• Box 3 with cards with operations (+ - x :) several times;
• Box 4 with cards with numbers assigned to the variables (x = 1; x = -2; x = 0; x = 1/2; ...).

ESTIMATED TIME

45 Minutes

DESCRIPTION

A team of 1 to 3 students takes 3 numbers from Box 1; next, they take a variable (as many times as they want) from Box 2; after that, they take operations from Box 3 and create an algebraic expression with the constants and the variables, writing down the expression in a notebook; then, they simplify the expression and write down the simplified version; they take a card with the value of the variable from Box 3 and calculate the value of the two algebraic expressions, the initial one and the simplified version. They verify that the obtained results are equal.
The teams can repeat the exercise increasing the level of difficulty (using fractions, several variables, ...).

EDUCATIONAL AIM

This intervention tool aims to help students with difficulties in the simplification of algebraic expressions as well as those who have trouble with the concept of variable.

REFERENCES

Ernest, P., Psychology of Learning Mathematics, Exeter: University of Exeter, School of Education, (1994).

Seng, L. K., An Error Analysis of Form 2 (Grade 7) Students in Simplifying Algebraic Expressions: A Descriptive Study, Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology 8(1):139-162, (2010).

INTERVENTION TOOL (PDF)

MONITORING TOOL (PDF)

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The SMiLD project is funded by the European Commission through the Italian National Agency for the Erasmus+ Programme. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.