This week in Pre-Algebra, I introduced a two-step equations project to my students. Just to give a little context, last year I did this, I had students create an equation for every letter of the alphabet where a=1, b=2, c=3, etc. It was a bear to grade and stressed students out. You can see it HERE but I recommend against using it unless you plan on doing some big changes to it. This year, I decided to just let them create 6 two-step equations.

#### THE PROJECT

I gave them instructions on how each problem was to be formed. For example, the first problem was supposed to have the variable being multiplied by some value, and then have something some value added or subtracted to it. It’d look something like 3x + 4 = 25. For the second problem, I would have them taking the variable, adding or subtracting a value to it, and then multiplying it by a value. That in turn would look something like 3(x+4)=25.

I opted to allow students to use each other for help, research the concepts online, and check their work with calculators. They were only allowed to work on it in class and they did very well with this. I wanted this to be a learning experience as well as an assessment piece. This was in lieu of having a unit test. I got a lot of positive feedback from students on it, and most were able to finish in 1.5 class periods.

HERE is the handout for the project.

Below is a short video where I go through the project and ask students to share their thinking and feedback on this project vs. having a traditional test.

I have just discovered your blog, YouTube channel, etc. I want to incorporate some of your ideas into my classroom this year. Could you explain the MiCRO-MiMOW? I am not sure of its meaning.

Hey Jeremiah, sorry for the late reply. MiMOW stand for ‘Math in My Own Words.’ It’s the students writing assignment in math class. Generally it’s a more elaborate blog or something like that, but in this project, I just wanted them to do a little write up (hence the ‘micro’ part). They usually have to hit maybe 3-4 points of discussion (that I provide) for each regular MiMOW. This micro one they only had to write about one.

Here’s a blog entry that talks a little bit more about MiMOWs as a whole. It was a post I had shared when I was looking for other teachers willing to comment on students blogs. Not really looking for teachers for that anymore but the entry explains it pretty thoroughly.

https://thomgibson.com/2016/12/22/entry-17-needing-math-teachers-willing-to-comment-on-student-blogs/