We are rounding the bend. Two and a half weeks of content left and 2 days (really 1) left in this min-unit on solving steps. Grades for the fifth marking period were also due today, which means that I should be doing something totally not school related (which probably means blogging, watching TV, doing BTSA. Not exercising.)

Previously, curriculum partner and I divided students in half. One of us taught kiddos about fractions. One of us taught the other kiddos about writing the steps to solve equations. Today, everyone was back together for the first time in a few days. Students spent today working on a series of slow release equations – some with decimals and negatives for students who learned to write the solving steps and some with negatives for students who had studied fractions.

**Photo 1: The One With the Solving Steps**

Making seating charts is hard. I know some teachers are very firm about not ever letting students change groups. I will sometimes change groups if students advocate for themselves with a good reason (our kiddos also have all of their classes together for the whole day, so personalities can get more explosive as the day goes on).

I’ve been trouble placing one kiddo. But today, he ended up working really well with his new group. They talked and worked and wrote together. His work is shown above.

**Photo 2: The One with the Equations and Answers**

This year is the second year that we’ve used algebra tiles, so some of our kiddos are getting really good at using them. Today, most students who had only seen them this year continued using them to solve equations. Their groups tended to be more homogenous than usual and it was really exciting to see some students really step up their algebra tile game.

Since we haven’t taught these kiddos how to go from algebra tiles to writing the steps, I just had them write the equation and the answer. This photo is from one kiddo who was left alone (the rest of his group had to help out another class) and sat there for about 30 minutes and plowed through all the problems. Pretty cool.

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