I was so incredibly proud of my Algebra 2 students this week. We concluded our unit on increasing and decreasing functions and they rocked our summative activity!

**Oh no!**

Last Friday at around 1:55 when the final bell rang, I suddenly realized that I had not planned anything for one of my Algebra 2 classes! How could that happen?? Daycare pickup was at 2:30 so there was no time. Over the weekend instead of pulling something together, I decided that on Monday we would get right into our increasing and decreasing functions activity because I had already photocopied it and cut out the cards so it would have to do. It was a little soon, I thought, but I'd help them through it.

**Happy Accident**

Boy was I wrong! My Mom is an artist and talks a lot about "happy accidents". These are drops of paint or other things that could be thought of as mistakes but that turn out wonderfully. Getting right into the matching activity was one of these happy accidents. My students were completely engaged and working well with each other. They were asking awesome questions and analyzing the heck out of the graphs! It was one of those days where you wished an administrator would happen to walk through (but of course one didn't!:)

**The nitty gritty**

I used the paper cutter that I tracked online this summer from the time it left the warehouse to the day it arrived on my doorstep to cut out the 20 cards. I gave the increasing/decreasing intervals match sheet to my students to cut out so that they could more easily scan for matches. Each pair of students got a pair of scissors and a glue stick and went right to it. I modeled finding the match for the one linear equation, and after that they were on their own (with help from me when they needed it).

**Take aways**

My students are awesome. Other than this, my students love activities and do enjoy being challenged and pushed if it leads to immediate feedback. My biggest take away was not to underestimate their ability to bridge gaps in my teaching that I would otherwise be compelled to fill with boring practice sheets. Boo practice sheets! Yay activities!

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