When I saw Radical Equation Strips by Miss Calcul8, I was intrigued.

She downplayed their genius in her post, but I wasn’t fooled. I printed them out, using one color per problem, made 15 sets (split into two problems each, so enough for 30) and had them laminated (and then had to cut them all again).

Instead of giving students a format for writing down the steps I told them to write each problem in their notebook, adding in any steps I missed. They did one of the problems with a single radical, then traded with the pair behind/in front of them, then did the other single-radical problem. Then they did one of the two problems with two radicals. This was enough for them to write their own steps for solving radical equations. We did one more problem together, using it to refine the steps for solving a radical equation, and most students felt they were good to go.

This activity went so well, we tried it again, with exponential equations. These were actually made by my resident (student teacher), as well as a logarithmic set.

[OMG this is the first time I’ve ever successfully embedded something!!!!!!!]

I love that it gives students a chance to see all of the steps, and I wish I had used this with equations in my lower level classes. Especially for students that make so many computational errors, seeing and writing correct steps but with their own input is so powerful.

Can’t wait to use this in our lower class!

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