This activity was created to encourage students to break down the common barriers they have about math on the first day of class. Students are tasked to create expressions or equations whose solutions reveal numerical facts about themselves. You can scaffold this activity to be as simple or as difficult as you'd like by specifying the difficulty of each expression or equation that students must write. I've found that this activity is a built in pre-assessment (without having to call it that) because I am able to see which students challenge themselves to make more difficult equations, and which students tend to stick with the simpler math algorithms.
~ Write the ANSWER to each prompt and create an EXPRESSION or EQUATION in each box so that the solution matches your answer.
~ You MUST use at least three different math symbols and at least one fraction in each expression (+, -, x, ÷, √, x², etc).
~ On a blank board, write your expression or equation WITHOUT your name OR the solution on it. Your teacher will take up each board and re-distribute. Your goal is to solve each other’s expressions to guess as many of your classmates as you can!
Students can also get to know one another depending how you encourage them to finish the activity. In the past I've done it these ways:
1) Once students have filled in the "blank boards" with just the expressions/equations I have students write their names on the back blank side. I will have them quietly close their eyes, and I will quickly tape them up around the room. They are then given the blank cards numbered 1-30 (only use as many as you have students in the room) and they go around the room to guess which student is which. This has allowed me to teach procedures for around the room activities and allows students the freedom to talk while I monitor on the first day.
2) I have students keep their filled in "blank boards" and go to nine different peers and switch boards. They see if they can solve each other's expressions/equations to get the correct answer. If they get the correct answer they initial in that space, if it's wrong they go to a new peer and try again. This is also a great way to gauge students on the first day and teach procedures.
**Please leave feedback and let me know how you utilized this activity in your classroom!**