### Combination Stations

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MS Funday Sunday is hosting a link to Math Stations:

This was the one of the most fun activities my colleague, Jessica, and I did with our Algebra 1A students.

We put Four 3 and and Two 4 digit pad locks at stations around the room. Then we made easy to horrendous Order of Operations problems that gave the correct combinations to unlock the locks. The students were so motivated! Talk about self -correcting! I guess we could have put candy inside a lock box or free homework passes or stickers...Eh...

One answer even had a fraction so that the answer 86 1/3 was the four digit combination, and of course, one decimal answer too.

What other kinds of problems can you think of to come up with combinations for the locks? You could have answers labeled 0-9 for any type of four problems per page and the answers that match those digits (say 3.375 seconds is an answer attached to digit 7). Hmmm...

This was the one of the most fun activities my colleague, Jessica, and I did with our Algebra 1A students.

We put Four 3 and and Two 4 digit pad locks at stations around the room. Then we made easy to horrendous Order of Operations problems that gave the correct combinations to unlock the locks. The students were so motivated! Talk about self -correcting! I guess we could have put candy inside a lock box or free homework passes or stickers...Eh...

One answer even had a fraction so that the answer 86 1/3 was the four digit combination, and of course, one decimal answer too.

What other kinds of problems can you think of to come up with combinations for the locks? You could have answers labeled 0-9 for any type of four problems per page and the answers that match those digits (say 3.375 seconds is an answer attached to digit 7). Hmmm...

Was the goal for each student to open one lock? All the locks? Did you give them a worksheet that they did at there desks, or are these problems all around the room next to the locks?

ReplyDeleteHaving the lock open or not open is an awesome check for whether the answer is correct or not. This is good stuff.

Thanks for the feedback. When I did this, I had 6 order of operations problems in those plastic paper protectors. The students sit in groups of 4, so we put one lock and one problem per group. Every 5 minutes, the students had to move the lock with its problem one place...the students stayed put. I just let the students figure out who was going to open the lock. They could each open one if they do 4 problems, right?

DeleteThe most challenging part is not to let them jump ship and help the others. (tee-hee) You could absolutely let the students move and leave the locks in place. At the end, the students had to turn in one set of problems with their work shown. I don't even think I graded it in the end. Everyone was pretty happy.

One thought I had when I read this was to make the locks part of a math narrative. You tell a story and students are trying to gather clues to further the story but each time something comes up in the story they have to use math and ingenuity to forward it. You could even have the next concept you introduce be behind one of the locks they open so its almost like a present inside of a present. The kids get engaged because they understand the material but they don't know what will come next. The tangible act of working with the locks gives them a sense of involvement in how the fiction will unfold.

ReplyDeleteAbsolutely lovely...kind of like rescuing the princess using boundaries and equations and inequalities of lines! Thank you for enriching the task!

Deletelove that idea! Definitely tells them right away if they got the right answer or not.

ReplyDeleteI do something like this for English too!

ReplyDeleteEach station gets a paragraph with a different theme (relative clauses, participial phrases, parallelism, etc.) Each sentence has a number. Each paragraph had four mistakes (within the theme). Once they thought they found the mistakes they could check with the lock. They wrote down the sentences and moved onto the next one.

If they finished faster than other groups (possible) they sat down and tried to correct the incorrect sentences on their own.

Nice to see it done in math too!

This is such a great idea! I don't teacher order of operations so I'm thinking maybe solving multi-step equations might be a good use for this.

ReplyDeleteLet me know what you topics you want tweaks for and I will you shoot you back some ideas...I love bouncing ideas arou

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