Today we finished discussing Fair Share on Chores. Then we worked on Fair Share for Hired Hands. Both of these activities start with a situation where the students will write an equation that starts in standard form due to the way the problem is read. Then they are asked to describe in words how to find one of the "unknowns" if you know the other. The cool thing is that the next question asks them to then write it in equation form. It is a neat approach because the context helps the students to identify mistakes.
At the beginning of the activity the students are asked to explore the problem numerically. One strategy I have encouraged my students to do is to brainstorm WITHOUT erasing. I want them to write down things they try or ideas they have and just put a line through them if they decide they are incorrect. This helps them to keep track of what they tried. When they are working on their POWs they are asked to explain their process and write about what they have tried. I loved the work of the student whose paper is pictured below because she did keep track of her brainstorming.
Mr. Webb gave me an idea today. One of the issues I am having with using our new textbooks is the amount of time it takes to do each activity. You can really go in depth and spend some time exploring and discussing these activities. He said that when there are 2 lessons that are similar he pretty much walks them through the first one as a class activity and then assigns the 2nd one for them to work on in their groups. I feel like this is a great idea especially since we started the book 7 weeks into the year so we are already trying to find activities that we can skip in order to cover.