I love the recent hit activity Hedbanz. It is an activity that has been around for a while but it is now finding its way around the classrooms. This activity lends itself for great math conversations and engagement, for whichever concept that is being taught.
For the concept of writing and solving equations with an unknown, it is a great way to allow students to practice the skill in a way that is very engaging. The students have to try and guess what their mathematical expression is based on the verbal clues that are given by their partners.
In addition to challenging students to communicate using math vocabulary, it forces students to also use their listening/comprehension skills.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Model, model, model!
Model throughout the course of teaching this content as you give students different opportunities to turn/talk/share with partners
- Teach necessary vocabulary beforehand
- Provide sentence stems for students to refer to
Suggestion on using Hedbanz game: How to play
– Pair students up
– Have each student put an equation card on their foreheads
– Have one student go first and describe their partner’s equation
example: “the sum of 43 and a equals 72″
– The partner listening will then write down the equation and the partner describing the equation will check
if the player writes down the equation correctly, they will take the card; if the player
writes down the equation incorrectly, they will discard the card
– Both partners will then solve for the unknown and check each other’s answers
– They will switch roles and continue on
**If extra time is available or for an added challenge: Guide students to create their own word problems for the equations!!**
For an extra resource, check this out!