Monday, November 7, 2011

Equations vs. Inequalities Mini-Poster Project

The first chapter in my first book is entitled "The Mini-Poster," so it should be no surprise that it's a favorite that I constantly adapt to new topics.  This time around, I wanted to do a "six weeks" project to wrap up the grading period in Algebra I, where we've been working on solving equations and inequalities.

In this project, students make four mini-posters (one 8.5" by 11" page each) for four (technically seven) types of problems:
  1. One-step equations and inequalities
  2. Two-step equations and inequalities
  3. Multi-step equations and inequalities
  4. Special case for inequalities (when you have to flip the inequality sign)
Except for the last one, each poster is supposed to have what is essentially the same problem worked out the same way, but one is an equation and the other an inequality (with the sign of their choosing).  The difference is that the inequality has the particular sign and needs to be graphed on the number line.

By forcing them to do the mirror-image problems, the message is explicit: you solve both problems with the same steps.  Along with reviewing all of the problems, the purpose of this project is indeed to draw the clear connection between solving the two types of problems.  I told students to keep the title and "how to solve" sections the same as what's on the directions, but to change the examples (helpfully outlined in boxes) to their own

Regular readers will probably note that this isn't all that different from the Linear Equation Formula Book project I shared last week; indeed, one student that I have in both classes made the same connection fairly quickly.  That's because it's not really all that different.  But that's okay.

Download a PDF of the project directions here:

Here are some of my earlier mini-poster ideas for you to draw from: