Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Weekly Class Summary: Nov. 19-23

SOLs Covered:  8.1 Order of Operations
Math Dictionary Sections:  (6) Order of Operations
Upcoming Assessments: One-Step Equations Quiz (Fri. 11/30)

Another short week equals a short summary.  I know I "say" that often and then end up with a couple pages, but I really mean it this week.  Instead of starting a new topic during this two-day week, we review an old topic (order of operations) with a Mathalicious lesson.  Mathalicious is an awesome site that links real world situations (though sometimes a bit exaggerated like with this lesson) with the math topics we cover in class.  This week had us working PEMDASurvivor, exploring how working problems in different orders can change your answer with added puzzles to make things interesting.

The lesson culminates with a clip from the CBS© show Survivor©, where the contestants had to work an obstacle course, memorizing a set of operations before going back through the course and filling the operations into a problem.  They have to solve the problem first to win.  In theory, they should solve the question correctly, however as we discovered, they all (the contestant and the show's creators) solved it wrong.  We reworked the problem and found the answer should really be 61/7.  Some students then tried to find a way to make the problem work with grouping symbols the way the show intended.  The students were rather proud of themselves when they were able to figure out a question the adults from the show could not.

Students finished the work on Tuesday and then worked on Cartesian cartoons after a quick review of the coordinate plane.  Cartesian cartoons are connect-the-dots with a twist--you have to make the dots by plotting ordered pairs onto a coordinate plane before connecting them.  This is a skill that will be utilized later in the year with some of our future algebra and geometry work, but it's an activity I always loved as a kid, which I though the kids would appreciate.

I hope everyone enjoys the break and has a happy Thanksgiving!

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