Identifying which equation could be used to solve a problem is a weak area. In today's lesson, I had the kids answer 10 multiple choice problems out of Motivation Math. All of the problems I selected asked them to find which equation could be used to solve the problem. Here is what I had them do:

- Read the problem
- Analyze the problem (find the facts)
- Solve the problem
- Write the equation (the solution to the problem)
- If necessary, use a calculator and determine if the equation selected is reasonable.
- Create another problem in which the same equations would need to be used.

The last part created a lot of discussion with many of the kids. We went through this example as a class.

I can make $8 per hour babysitting. If I work15 hours, which equation could be used to find t, the total amount of money earned?

a. t = 15/8

b. t = 8(15)

c. t = 8/15

d. t = 8+15

We agreed that equation b is what we would need. I told them that they needed to create a brand new problem in which the equation, t = 8(15) would be used. We came up with this.

There are 8 students in the class. Each student has 15 pencils. How many pencils are there in all? Once we did this, a lightbulb went off for many of them.

Okay, now here is where the cootie catchers come into play. I gave all the kids a white piece of paper in which I trimmed off the excess to make it a square (a big paper cutter is a time saver for this).

Here are the steps to make it:

- Fold the paper and create a diagonal.
- Unfold
- Fold the paper again and create the other diagonal.
- Unfold
- Take each corner and fold it where the end meets the center of the paper. Do this for all four corners.
- Turn the paper over.
- Take each corner and fold it where the end meets the center of the paper. Do this for all four corners.
- On the side with the squares, we put colors. Some of the kids got creative and used highlighters, etc.
- On each of the 8 triangles, we wrote the page number and problem to one of the problems I had assigned. I assigned 10, so they chose 8.
- Under the problem number flap, the kids wrote the equation they believe can be used to solve the problem.

We will finish this assignment up tomorrow. I will have the kids go around the room with the cootie catcher they created, and they will play the game. They will get to see if the equation they selected is the same as the other person. If it is not, they will have a discussion as to why they selected the equation.

Outside part of the cootie catcher |

Page number and problems listed on each triangle |

Equation that can be used to solve the problem |

The kids were really excited about making these. Many of them had made them before and could not believe we were doing this in the math class. They are anxious to go around the room tomorrow and actually play.

I am in the process of making some that can be used for measurement, formulas, etc. That will be another post!

Happy Cootie Catching!

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