This excellent and fun activity requires that students have an understanding of the vocabulary: TERM, COEFFICIENT, VARIABLE, EXPONENT
• According to how you use this activity, it can take anywhere from a minimum of 15 minutes to 25 or 30.
• The process I follow is:
o Review the vocabulary TERM and work through an example term in the format required (coefficient, more than one variable, etc.) and I have the students give me some example terms and write them on the board to ensure they understand (common errors here include giving MORE THAN ONE term combined with + or – signs, or failure to include an exponent)
o Hand out the papers then give the students 2-3 minutes to write down 5 of their own terms in the column on the left (more time for 10 terms of course)
o Give the students a few minutes to swap papers and fill in the blanks on others’ papers
o As most of the students have their papers completed, I usually cut off the time and have all students sit down, even if a few of them are missing one or two blanks
o I give students a couple of minutes to review their papers looking for and marking errors (see more information on that below)
o We have a class discussion – I have students read me some of the “lines” from their papers, we talk about errors, we talk about what was learned, what they had learned previously but remembered, etc.
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