Algebraic Expressions with 6th Grade

At Twitter Math Camp, Nicole Paris introduced us all to the “orangamallow“.  Wow.  So simple, yet so brilliant.  How many times have I SAID, “a + b doesn’t make an applebanana“?  But Nicole took it one step further and SHOWED this to her students, bridging the gap from the concrete to the abstract.  Never underestimate the power of manipulatives, or visuals.

My students loved this so much, and got so excited about it, that I even recorded them today.  This is big for me because I have never recorded myself teaching.  But, I wanted Nicole to see how her idea inspired my class.  THIS is why you all should be blogging and sharing, even if you don’t think you have that much to add.  OR, if you think that what you have to add is obvious and couldn’t help much.  Please find the time and blog your lessons!  Just watch my students, who got so excited when I brought out the bag today that I was instantly sad I wasn’t already recording.

I also didn’t really want to record myself, so I hid behind the table as much as I could.  I should record my lessons more as I noticed so much that I can improve upon in just one short video.  Wow.  I noticed that I talk way too much, no surprises there.  But, when I talk too much, I say stupid things.  I actually said algebraic equation instead of expression twice.  Oh my.

21 thoughts on “Algebraic Expressions with 6th Grade

      • Lol! So I did similar today with a bucket and bears, cubes, and foam disks.

        During one of the classes I tried to combine the names of 2 of the things, and I chose the wrong ones! I put bears with cubes and I said do they make “boobs”? Well, I lost them for the next 5 minutes!
        The next period, my student teacher did the same demonstration, without the boobs, but she has a French accent and bears sounded like “beers” and discs sounded like “dicks”! Ah…the wonders of middle school!

      • OMG. That is too funny and needs to go on Megan’s site of in class bloopers. Almost every day we do p squared in 7th grade. p p gets a laugh every time. It is NO where near as good as boobs though! I wish you had recorded that! lol!!

  1. Perfect timing!!! I am introducing combining like terms with my 9th grade students today. I am going to try to include the distributive property this way. Stay tuned for a blog post! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Thanks Mary. My students LOVE to be involved. I don’t know if you noticed, but I have popsicle sticks that I use to decide who gets to go next. They ALL want to go next ALL of the time. lol! It’s a great problem to have!

  2. Wow, this was awesome!! Makes me so excited to try this soon! I am a first year teacher and seeing your students enthusiasm makes me hopeful I can start getting my students this excited:) Thank you so much for sharing all your great ideas!!

    • Thanks so much! My students are crazy about math! I credit it to all of the amazing activities that I find in the MTBoS everyday. It’s an amazing place. I hope you have signed up for Explore the MTBoS. It’s going to be so much fun!

  3. Are your children always so energetic? Oh my goodness! 🙂

    I’m going to be trying this tomorrow and adding in the Distributive Property suggestion that Nora posted about above. I can’t wait!

    • Hahaha! YES, well, 6th grade is. I have to draw sticks or they complain about who get’s called to participate. It’s awesome.

      I am going to do this with 7th grade incorporating the distributive property as well. Let me know how it goes. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Combining Like Terms | The Pizza Pi Girl

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