## Intro to Linear Equations INB Pages

This year, I completely changed my linear equations unit.  I went at a slower pace and reorganized the information a little bit.  I used some of the pages I used last year for slope and equations of lines.

First, I taught my students the difference between linear and non-linear lines.  This page wasn't to difficult for my students and they followed along very well.  You can find this page here.

After this, we talked about zeros of functions.  I used this hamburger book to have students practice using a table of values to graph a line.  I just added this hamburger book to my FREE Resource Library.  If you don't have access, you can sign up here!

The word problems were a little bit challenging for my students, but they were perfect for discussion in class.

I used the same notes for slope that I used last year.  Slope dude just helps so much!  Also, you can check out these videos for students about teaching slope.

Then, we practiced writing linear equations in standard form.  My students are not required to make the "a" value positive at the end.  We mainly practice moving the x and y on either side of the equals sign to get them used to it.  You can find this page here.

Then, I had them take a handwritten notes page about how to find the intercepts from a linear equation written in standard form.  After that, they worked three practice problems with their partners.  I game them an equation and they had to write it in standard form and find the intercepts.  I've been including a lot more partner work in their notebooks this year.

This was the end of our first unit.  After this we had a test before moving on to the "meat" of writing linear equations.

## Interpreting Graphs INB Pages

At the beginning of the year, I introduced some graphing vocabulary to my Algebra 1 students at the beginning of the year.  Now that I'm further through the year, I'm noticing that this was a great idea!  My students are more comfortable with the vocabulary this year and are more willing to use math vocabulary.

First, I had my students write out definitions in different colors.  As we wrote each definition, we color coded it on the next page on each graph.

I had them mark the lines of symmetry in the same color that they had written the definition in.  I love having students color-code their notes and I know that it helps them process the information and read it later.

I also like that these pages turned out so colorful since they are color coded!  :)

## Mrs. E's Favorite Things

In the spirit of the holidays, I want to share some of my favorite things with you!  Keep reading until the end, because there is something for you too!

### My Favorite Holiday Activity

I love decorating the Christmas tree.  As long as I can remember, we have always blasted old Christmas music and put up the tree as a family.  My mom would take us to the store to pick out our own Christmas ornament every year.  We would put our initials on it very small at the bottom and the year.  Then, when I got my own Christmas tree as an adult, my mom gave me all of my own ornaments that I picked out as I was growing up.  All of them bring back memories and it's fun to put them up and tell my son about each one.  I hope to start the tradition with him next year when he's a little older.

This is my Christmas tree this year:

### My Favorite Math Activity

My favorite math activity is a sum 'em activity.  I use them to review all kinds of concepts.  They encourage students to work together and find their own mistakes.

Students are put in groups of four and each student in a group is given one card with a problem on it.  When all of the students in the group have finished their problems, they add their answers together.  Then, students check their sums with the teacher.  If they are incorrect, they trade problems within their group and try again.  If they are correct, they move on to another set of cards.  I love this type of activity because it gets students working together and talking about math.

If you sign up for my Free Resource Library, there is a FREE sum 'em activity included.  If you'd like to see my other sum 'em activities, you can find them here.

### My Favorite Math Teacher Tools

I can't limit this to just one thing, so I thought I'd list my top three!

First, if you haven't tried Flair pens yet, you need to.  It took me FOREVER before I was willing to try them.  I'm kind of cheap about some things and I just thought they were over priced.  However, I LOVE them!  I love that they are so bold and bright, but don't bleed through paper.  I also like that they liven up the white pages in my interactive notebooks.

My second favorite math teacher tool is a timer.  Really, every teacher needs a timer.  Yes, I have one on my phone, but I don't really want to have my phone out around my students all day.  I have this cheap, digital timer and it works great.  Timers help keep students one task by putting a little pressure on them.  Also, they can help by minimizing transition time.

The last teacher tool for today is STICKERS!  Even my high school students like getting stickers.  I always put a sticker on tests and quizzes that have earned an A.  My students love seeing that they have earned a sticker.  There are some amazing and cheap sticker packs out there for teachers.

## Giveaway Time!!

Giveaway Closed

To help you get through the holidays and the new year started off right, I am giving away a \$25 Teachers pay Teachers gift card!

To enter, follow both steps below.

1. Comment on this post, answering the question below.
2. If you haven't already, sign up for my mailing list to get teaching tips and the inside scoop on sales and giveaways.
What unit is the most difficult for you to teach and why?

This giveaway ends Monday, December 18, 2017 at 8pm EST.  Now it's time to hop on over to Kara's blog at Learning Made Radical for another giveaway!

## 13 Engaging Ideas for Teaching Systems of Equations

Systems of equations can be challenging for Algebra 1 students!  The first day of my solving systems by substitution lesson, I see so many heads explode.  I've developed some favorite ideas and resources over the years that I'd love to share with you!

Here are my favorite tips and resources to help you through your systems of equations unit!  (in no particular order)

1 - Emoji Logic Puzzles - These logic puzzles are a fun way to get students solving systems without even realizing it!  They would also be fun warmups or as emergency sub plans during this unit.

2 - Solving Systems of Equations by Graphing Pennant - Solving systems by graphing is the best place to start the unit.  It helps students visualize solving algebraically and starts in their comfort zone.  This pennant is a fun way for students to practice!

3 - Review Literal Equations - Solving systems by substitution is very overwhelming for students at first.  However, I have found that if I review solving literal equations as a warmup before the lesson, things go a little bit better that day.  :)

4 - Systems of Equations Sum 'Em Activity: Word Problems - You better believe that I'm going to use a sum 'em to help students figure out systems of equations word problems!  Sum 'em activities get students working together and discussing math.  They are so easy to use, but keep students persistent and engaged the entire class period.  Word problems can be so difficult, so I absolutely use this activity to help students master them!

5 - Linear Systems Interactive Notebook Unit - If you want an entire interactive notebook unit for systems of equations, look no further.  This complete unit is ready to copy!

6 - Solving Systems of Equations Interactive Notes Activity - This set of notes is ready to go in an interactive notebook.  I like that it compares the different methods for solving systems and keeps the information organized in one place.

7 - Systems of Equations INB Pages - These are the interactive notebook pages that I used last year!  The notes pages are a FREE download.

8 - Have Students Highlight the Variables - When teaching solving systems by elimination, have students "stack" the like terms and highlight them like the picture below.  My students struggle when the variables aren't lined up and this helps them remember to add and subtract the like terms.

9 - Systems of Equations Matching Game and Quiz - This FREE download is a fun matching game to give students practice solving systems.  Also, the quiz that's included could be used as an exit ticket or as an additional INB page.  So many uses!

10 - How Can You Win Every Prize at Chuck E. Cheese's? - This is a cool 3-act task that keeps students interest while introducing them to the topic.  To be successful, students need to be very comfortable graphing equations of lines.  Also, this would be a good introduction to systems of equations word problems.

11 - Solving Systems of Equations Puzzle - This hands-on puzzle gets students practicing elimination and substitution.  Since this is self-checking, students don't practice incorrectly - they must ask for help if they don't find their answer.

12 - Systems of Two Equations Task Cards - Sometimes you just need a good set of task cards.  This set of task cards is perfect for warmups or playing speed dating.  You can find some great ideas for using task cards here and here.

13 - Systems of Equations Word Problems Stations Maze - Students need LOTS of practice with word problems!  This stations maze gets students out of their seats and moving.  It also encourages students to check their work carefully since an incorrect answer will eventually send them back to a problem they have already solved.  Successfully completing the stations maze requires students to slow down and check their work.

I hope you have found something useful to use in your classroom this year!