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Algebra Lab in 90 Minutes
Posted 09/28/2018 02:34PM

A "lab" in any class can be considered an exploration or investigation of relationships.

Our new modified block schedule was implemented to allow more time for labs to be conducted by teachers across the curriculum. Can you imagine how a lab in math class might be performed?

The 8th graders in Mrs. Meechan's Algebra 1 Honors class are studying math expressions.  After the topic was introduced, students used an interactive website, DESMOS, to discover different ways to represent math expressions: algebraic, algebra tiles, tables, and verbal expressions.

Seated in groups of four, students worked independently on their laptops as Mrs. Meechan circulated throughout the room.  She redirected their work as needed and gave appropriate feedback, but let students work out how to correct their own mistakes. At times, she paused the activity, to highlight an excellent response or an awesome mistake.  "Awesome mistake? Yes," she told the class.  "Mistakes provide great discussion."

Students worked on three different DESMOS activities in order to dive more deeply into the lesson material in various ways.  Before the end of their 90-minute class time, Mrs. Meechan facilitated a discussion in which she connected their activities to the math lesson and students reflected on their learning from common mistakes.  This math class prompted creative and important learning, and encouraged critical thinking!

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