Kids Love Choice {in Math Class}

A game of choice for an Algebra class.

My daughter is an 18 month old strong-willed little girl. I can't say I expected anything else. It's going to take a lot of skill to get her to do things like, you know, drink water. Do all kids fight that one? My daughter takes her water iced and shaken. Yours? Do teeth really rot if they are not brushed?

My students at school are strong-willed too. The town in which I live and work is very diverse and this diversity is reflected in my classroom. Most diverse is every student's prior knowledge, motivation and approach to the Math we learn in class. Some eat it right up, others need some (OK, a lot) of convincing. Still others just won't, despite all my efforts and wishes. A lot of the time I will have these students in my class again and the second time around usually goes much better. By the second time through, we've built a relationship, and as dysfunctional as it sometimes is, it is a relationship.

Choice in the Classroom
Kids love choice, so I try to build it in whenever I can. 

"Of the 12 problems, can you choose 10 to get the 100%?"

"You can either cut and glue this into your notebook or hole punch it and put it in your binder."

Solving equations mix match

Algebra 1 is Awesome!
Since even my Algebra 2 students struggle with solving equations that have variables on both sides, this choice activity was a no-brainer. Wouldn't it be awesome to iron that whole thing out 2 years earlier in Algebra 1? Yeah! And build in choice? Double yeah! Wanna try the activity? Oh H@77 Yeah!!! OK, bad choice of symbols to represent letters there, but I'm still not sure of the proper etiquette for swearing online. In any case, this Solving Equations Mix Match activity is awesome for offering choice in Algebra.

equations with variables on both sides

More choices please!
If you're looking for another activity that gives Algebra students the feeling of choice, this Equation Spinner Bingo game is a fun one where students build equations from spinners and find their solutions on bingo cards. I like it because it's the solutions that are on the cards, so in order to win they have to solve a lot of equations!

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