Thursday, November 4, 2010

Isolating the Variable in a fun way

Leave it Alone and Jump the Fence Game
(Isolating the Variable)

This is a game where in an equation, numbers are soldiers and variables are dangerous items. The equal or inequality sign are the fence. On one side of the fence is a number (a product, quotient, sum, or difference). On the other side is a variable expression--it includes the variable.

Use 3x5 blank cards. Fold them in half the short way. Then use them to write out an equation, and then put separate equations together with a paper clip. Prepare the cards in this way:
Variable Cards
On each one, write a variable letter on the outside. On the inside, write a description of a dangerous item.  (See the list below for the ones we used)
Sargeant Cards
Write the sum or difference on one side of this folded card.
Soldier Cards
Write the number in the variable expression on one side of this folded card.
Operation Identification Cards
Write the operation of the equation on one side of this folded card. On the other side (not the inside) write the inverse or opposite operation (if one side is + the other side is --.
Fence Cube
On each side of a cube or square Kleenex box, write or tape a card on each side with a plus or minus sign or a greater than or less than sign.

How to Play
Pick a set of equation cards and set them up with the fence cube so the equation is the way it should be like this:
Example: x+16=30.
In this example, the number 30 is the Sargeant who asks Soldier 16, "What have you found? Then the child looks inside the variable card and reads the description of what it is.  Then Sargeant says "Leave it alone!" The child then has to take the "16" card and the Operation ID card and jump the fence to the other side where the Sargeant is. In doing so, the Operation ID card flips around so the inverse operation shows. Then the cards are set up like this:
Now the equation can be solved.

Dangerous Variable Cards
C= crouching cougar
Q= queen bee
A= angry ants
R= rattlesnake
W= wicked warrier with a weapon
N= nasty newt
H= horrible hogs
D= deadly dragons
P= poisonous plants
Y= yellow jackets
M= mean monsters
T= terrible termites

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