SUBJECT: This bulletin board can be used for an 8th or 9th grade Algebra class.
TOPIC: The topic is solving quadratic equations using the factoring method, by completing the square, or by using the Quadratic Formula.
TITLE: All Roads Lead To X
INTERACTIVITY: The students will be working in groups of four. They will each draw a card from the TASK pocket, which will tell them what their role is in solving for x. The first task is "the starter" who first pulls out a worksheet from the bottom envelope. They then pull a slip from the EQUATION pocket. They will write the problem down on the worksheet. Without saying anything they will hand the problem to the person that drew the next task which is "the navigator." Their job is to determine which path to chose in solving for x. They will write down on the work sheet what form we want to put the equation in and then point the first arrow to the path they wish to take. The worksheet is handed to the third person who drew "the driver" card. They will first write on the worksheet what rule we are following next, such as the quadratic formula. They will then solve for x and pin the worksheet on the board. The fourth task is called the "are we there yet" task. Their job is to decide if we have solved for all values of x and either agree or disagree with the solution and point the second arrow to Agree or Disagree. If they disagree, the starter will solve for x on the back of the worksheet. This all has to be done with no oral communication among group members.
DIRECTIONS FOR USE: The board may be used as part of the lesson plan as each method is being taught. The only task that would be eliminated is that of the navigator. Once all three methods have been shown to students the board may serve as a review exercise prior to a test or quiz. At this point the task of the navigator may be added. The class will be divided into groups of four. They each draw a task card. The starter has the option to go with the first equation picked and gain 10 points or choose a second and only get 5 points. The navigator picks a path. The driver may choose the path picked by the navigator for 10 points or may choose another for 5 points. If the driver answers correctly they gain another 10 points. If the "are we there yet" group member agrees with a correct answer or disagrees with an incorrect answer they get 10 points. If he or she agrees with an incorrect answer or disagrees with a correct answer they do not get any points. The starter changes the arrow to either correct or incorrect. If they are able to solve the solution correctly they gain 5 points. If the group is unable to solve for x correctly the other groups will have a chance. Whichever groups answer it correctly will split the points that had accumulated throughout the round.
TIME: Each round should take no more than three minutes. The first couple may take longer but after they get the hang of it, the rounds should go quickly. A way to possibly speed the rounds up is if you give the driver a minute to do the problem once they receive it and award added points for every second that is left after they solved the solution correctly.
SPECIAL CONSTRUCTION: This was done with construction paper and cardboard. The pockets were made from cardboard and covered with construction paper. I would suggest laminating the TASK cards, as they will be handled the most. The arrows were made with cardboard and covered with construction paper.
CREDIT: The game may be used as a review for a test with groups competing against each other. The group with the most points may be awarded 5 bonus points; the next would get 4 bonus points, and so on for the upcoming exam.