I felt like students needed a bit more work on absolute value and thinking about it as a distance sorta thing. I have a ton of whiteboards around my room and a classroom set, neither of which I use very often.

Today I went over five questions and sent half the class to the boards and the other half was working on small whiteboards. After each problem they would flip positions, the fact that students were moving seemed to help their focus.As the day went on I found myself focusing on the student’s ability to translate an absolute value equation into words.

Here’s how things went:

We kicked off the review with this problem. I really focused on asking students what x meant and what the problem translated to in English; “The distance between a number and 12 is 3 units” then asking them to find what numbers were 3 units from 12. We went over a few more that had addition within the absolute value.

We translated and found the hidden difference.

I threw in a few curve balls:

I covered the absolute value part up and asked students to get the black blob on one side.

More translating:

Then I transitioned into inequalities;

Students had no issues translating, FOR REAL. ZERO ISSUES.

I used Fawn’s method of pushing my hands together when we wanted numbers less than 6 units away and spreading them apart for greater than.

I gave em another one; without any help or anything.

Students went over a few more examples till they got bored. I would say at lest 90% of my students were in the swing of things today. Honestly that doesn’t happen very often. It was awesome to see students successful and comfortable with the concept.

The best part… there was no memorizing rules or anything like that. Just thinking about what the inequality and equations were asking for.

Passing this along, I think you would like the guided notes you could use.

http://www.psd1.org/cms/lib4/WA01001055/Centricity/Domain/158/Absolute%20Value%20Article.pdf

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