Fun Algebra Easter Egg Hunt Activity

Just a quick post today to share a fun, quick Easter activity I’ve done in the past with Algebra/Pre-Algebra classes in case you want to try it…

Fill up an odd number of Easter eggs with pennies (put the same number of pennies in each egg).  Hide the eggs in the classroom before class begins.

When the students come in, ask for 2 volunteers.  Have those 2 students search for Easter eggs.  Since you have hidden an odd number of eggs the two students obviously will have found a different number.  Tell them that you want to be fair so you are going to even out the amount of money each student has by giving them some loose coins.

Easter Algebra Activity - math-in-the-middle.com

In the picture, you can see student A only found 1 egg and student B found 4.  So, I gave student A $0.25 and student B $0.04 to even out the total amount of money each student has.

Ask the class to figure out how much money is in each egg.  (You can give the money to the first student to get it correct as a prize if you want.)  Discuss how they figured it out and prove they are right by opening the eggs (in this case there is $0.07 in each egg).

Easter Egg Equation Activity - math-in-the-middle.com

There you have it – a fun way to have students solve equations with variables on both sides (without them even realizing that’s what they are doing!)

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading,

Christina

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Pi Day: Original (& Free) Ideas for Celebrating in Algebra I

Like most math teachers I love Pi Day!  I mean, who doesn’t love a day where you eat pie and celebrate math?!  I have always done a bunch of fun pi related activities with my students on Pi Day (you can read all about them and grab a Pi Day word problem freebie in this post from a couple of years ago), but the activities I usually do are geared towards 5th – 8th grade (pre-algebra) kids and aren’t really relevant to my Algebra I kids since area and circumference of circles are not in the Algebra curriculum.

So, I have set out to find ways to tie Pi Day into Algebra concepts and have come up with the following activities:

  1. Pi Day Literal Equations:  Literal Equations are a topic I teach towards the beginning of the year in Algebra I.  It is one of the harder concepts we do at the beginning of the year so I think Pi Day is the perfect time to revisit and review them.  I made a worksheet with a bunch of Geometry formulas that involve pi to have my students solve for pi.  I made it a bonus to see how many of the formulas students can identify.  The first student/group to finish and the student who correctly identifies the most formulas get prizes!  (Download the worksheet by clicking the image below).solve for pi pic
  2. Systems of Pies: Have students work with a partner to write a system of equations about pies.  Then have students walk around the room and solve each other’s systems of equations using the methods of their choosing.
  3. Pi Day Attack Review Game: Have each group draw a pie cut into 5 slices.  Ask students review questions on ANY Algebra I topic.  When a group gets an answer right, they can attack two different pies by “eating” a slice (coloring it in).  The last pie with any slices remaining is the winner!  (I wrote a detailed blog post about Attack here that you can read for a better explanation of the game and rules).

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I hope this has given you some useful ideas for making Pi Day a success in your Algebra class!  What other activities have you done that bring Pi Day into the Algebra I classroom?

Thanks for reading,

Christina

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Linear Equations Walk Around Activity

I’m writing about another favorite activity of mine that I use for a few different topics throughout the year – walkarounds. They require minimal prep from the teacher and are a great, effective way to practice certain skills. This post is specifically about the linear equations walk-around activity I do with my Algebra kids after they have learned Standard Form.
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Here’s how it works:
I have 6 different standard form linear equations that I copy enough times so that each student gets 1 equation. (You can download the equations at the bottom of the post). I give each student an equation and tell them to convert it to slope-intercept form and then graph it.
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After a few minutes have passed and most students are done, I tell them to form groups based on the equations they were given (all the 1’s are together, 2’s are together, etc.). In their groups they need to compare answers and come to a consensus on the correct slope-intercept equation and graph. Once they are in agreement they need to get their answer approved by me and then transfer the correct graph to a mini whiteboard. (Large graph anchor chart paper would actually be ideal, but I don’t have any so I use the whiteboards). They should NOT write the equation on the mini whiteboard, just the graph and their problem number.
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Once this is completed, I give students a recording sheet (download link is at the bottom of this post). I tell them to draw a big x through the number they graphed since they don’t have to do that one. Then the students walk around the room and have to look at the other groups’ graphs and determine the slope-intercept form of the equations that were graphed. They then need to convert those slope-intercept form equations into standard form. (The walkaround runs smoothest if you have a set order for students to walk around the room instead of letting them wander wherever. I tell them to go in order, so group 4 would start at the graph of 5, then go to 6, and then 1, 2, and end at 3). I also have found that it works best if students just write the slope-intercept form of the line while they are walking around, and then return to their seats to convert them to standard form.
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I love this activity because it gives students an opportunity to work both independently and cooperatively and gives them practice converting standard form to slope-intercept form, graphing lines, writing equations from graphs, and converting slope-intercept form to standard form.

(If you are in need of additional activities to supplement your linear equations unit, you may be interested in the linear equations relay races I have available in my TpT store.)

You can download the 6 equation cards for the walk around activity (FREE) by clicking the picture below:

linear walkaround pic1

You can download the activity recording sheet (FREE) by clicking the picture below:

linear walkaround pic2

What activities have you done for linear equations? Please share in the comments!

Thanks for reading,
Christina

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