Create Your Own Word Problems: Solving Systems Stations

I want to start off by saying how proud I am of my students by the effort they put into this activity. My algebra 1 class can sometimes be hectic, and can be difficult to have the entire class focused and motivated to work. IMG_7241

I started my solving systems of linear equations unit with word problems. I really wanted my students to understand the context behind solving systems of equations.

One the first day, we just practiced forming equations from word problems. I saw a blog post, after I started this unit, about numberless word problems. Next time I teach this, I want to start using numberless word problems and move on from there.

We then used word problems to learn solving systems by graphing, and my substitution. We are moving on to world problems with elimination this week.

We just had a four day weekend, and  I wanted to refresh the substitution method before we moved on.

I had every student work with a partner and each pair had a whiteboard. I gave the following directions:

  • Create a word problem on your whiteboard. Make sure you can create two linear equations from your world problem.

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  • After you create your word problem, raise your hands for more directions
    • Some students had difficulty making their world problems. They’d call me over and I’d remind them of the information they needed to add by asking questions about what else they’d need to know in order to solve the problem.
  • After their word problem was approved, I then gave them folded piece of paper. On the inside of the paper, they were to define their variables, create and then solve their equations.
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    • During this time I had plenty of time to walk around the classroom and answer questions. I also check each group’s work on the problem.
  • Once every student was finished, I put line pieces of paper next to each whiteboard. Each whiteboard was now a station and the students created the answer keys for their OWN problems.
    • I think it is important for students to create and work their OWN problems. It gives them a type of ownership and it helps them realize what information needs to be included. They also love putting their peers names in their word problems. It makes going around to each problem a little fun.

This was an awesome wrap-up activity. It was simple, but it required students to work together, create their own problems,  ask questions, and solve their peers work. Students also created ALL of the PROBLEMS and the ANSWERS! This required no prep!  It also gave me time to really work with students who were still strugglings.

3 thoughts on “Create Your Own Word Problems: Solving Systems Stations

    • I might also add that in terms of being afraid, it is me. A lot of my kids fear solving word problems. 😦 It’s really sad. It’s an amazing idea! After writing the first comment, I thought it sounded bad on my part #iworrytoomuch

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  1. haha it’s okay!!! I decided to do word problems first this year because students typically FREAK when it comes to word problems. My algebra class also only has 11 students in it so I can give a lot of indiviual attention. I’ve thought about having students in geometry create their own problems… not sure how that would go.

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