Introducing absolute value is one of my favorite lessons of the year.
Once again credit for this lesson goes out to Dan.
I pretty much followed his structure, just a few things are different which I will mention after we get through the good stuff:
For the first entry; students write down the name and their guess. I provide no structure or hints, we have practiced estimating a ton, let things happen.
We get through all 21 slides then go through another 21 with their ages
After ask students to total how much they were off for each celebrity then add all those together; the person who was off by the least gets a homework pass. Let them run into problems, don’t take that away from them.
After a while students realize that there is one serious issue; under estimating an age. Say one student guessed Willie was 42 and another 44. Both off by 2, how should we deal with this?
No big deal; drop the negative.
We find the totals again; I made it a competition between my four algebra classes. The lowest 5 went up on the wall and will stay there for the rest of the year.
Finally, we moved into absolute value, smooth transition for students.
In Geometry students started Sam’s lesson on conditional statements. So much good happened here, we only made it through the sketching and first discussion. I couldn’t help but laugh at some of the statements in the slide show. More on this to come tomorrow; here are a few finished products in the mean time.