Saturday, September 7, 2013

MTBoS: Help with Systems unit??

Hey math friends ... looking for some inspiration ...

Given:  Algebra 2 (advanced students)
... note ... they studied systems of equations in Algebra 1 (2 years ago)


  1. 4  90 minute class periods
  2. Must teach solve by graphing, solve by substitution, solve by elimination, and word problems
  3. Those 4 topics are usually the heading for each of the four days
  4. The solve by graphing day will include inequalities
  5. The word problems must include some wind and river current problems
  6. We teach solving by matrices in a separate unit
I have typical lesson plans ... and plenty of typical practice problems.

One of my goals this year is to use better problems, better questions, time for noticing/wondering, opportunities for developing students' curiosity.

Do you have suggestions for an opening problem for the unit?  Or better yet, an opening problem for each day?


  1. I am going to do a candy lab with 3 unknowns but you could do two. I don't know how to attach it here but I found it on someone's blog. It is kisses, 3 musketeers, and peppermint patties. You need a scale. You put some combination into brown bags and staple them shut. You have to include one hint on the bag. I am going to label the bags A, B, C, etc so I can keep track. They also need to be told how many total are in the bag. Then, they do a quantity equation, a weight equation (need scale), and your hint equation to figure out how many of each kind.

    1. Great idea! I'll explore this one ... may save it for our unit on matrices when we are solving for 3 variables.

    2. Jen, you need to blog about this! This sounds awesome and I need to know more about it!

    3. I found something like it here: (free)

      I also found something like it here as well:

      What instructions do you use?

  2. I am doing the lego opener (I think it is Fawn's) with the lego furniture to do linear programming. And, I am doing the oreo question - not is it double stuffed, but which has more calories the wafer or the filling if you know a regular oreo is 3 cookies and 160 calories and a double stuff is 2 cookies and 140 calories (assuming double stuff means double filling)(but does it?)

    1. I'm looking up Fawn's explanation of the lego furniture. Love the idea of using oreos ... will think about how I might make that work.

      Thank you for sharing!