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The activity is called "Scrambled Eggs" from Pippins strategies for teaching and requires plastic Easter eggs. You could also use this as a worksheet and write what each variable will represent.
There are two versions in this document. One with and one without negatives.
There are 24 questions for each version. Problems require order of operation skills.
Answer keys are included for both versions but it's bring your own plastic eggs!
Materials: Plastic Easter Eggs 2 each of 8 different colors. I use two of each color to make sure that I always have enough eggs so students always have a problem to work on. I do let my students work with a partner so if you wanted them to work individually, you would need additional eggs. I keep all of the eggs in two separate baskets. I split the room in half to tell them which basket to choose from to help with the management.
Preparation: Make and cut two copies of the variables page. Stuff the same color Easter egg with the same variable. I do have to fold the paper to make it fit nicely. Copy a work document for each student. Model: I have done this with both 6 and 7th grade students. As I demonstrate picking their egg, I always demonstrate cracking the egg open as if I was making real eggs. The kids always get a kick out of it.
1. Students choose one egg, return to their seat, crack it open, and solve those problems.
2. Place the variable slip back in the egg and return the egg to the basket.
3. Choose another egg.
4. Continue until you have found all of the variables.