Today was a teacher workday, which translates into we were in meetings all morning. First we had an ESOL check up to make sure we were following our little darlings closely and adjusting curriculum to hit their weak areas. A lot of mine have problems in listening and speaking. I don't see much of a problem with their talking, they do that very well. But I digress.
Our next meeting was with our Literacy and Math coaches to plan out the next nine weeks. I can hardly believe the first quarter is done and gone. This second one always flies by. This year is going to be even worse because I literally will by flying by on Week 8 to Australia!! But I digress. The math coach did an awesome job collecting a ton of books for each teacher to have in their classroom. Each title addresses some math concept in fun new ways.
We had to pick from the bucket of goodness and come up with ways that we could use the book in our classroom. We could make mini lesson, whole group instruction, or station idea suggestions from our book. I grabbed this neat little book called Mystery Math: A First Book of Algebra by David A. Adler. It's October and this cover had all those perfect little ghosties and ghoulies on the cover. I used to love Halloween growing up but it seems to be squeezed out of the school system now.
This little nugget starts off teaching students what an equation is and why the two sides of an equal sign need to be balanced. Then it goes into variables and how to find the solution to algebra equations using all four mathematical operations. Mandy and Billy foolishly stop by a haunted house and have to solve the algebraic riddles to make it through. They count ravens on the wires, bats inside the belfry, and the obligatory skeletons in the closet. It's done in a simple and manageable style that I can't wait to try out on my students and make this a station for them to design their own story problems.
Hope you enjoy!