I tweeted today about my students getting randomized practice using dice today:

Randomizing our slope intercept form practice using dice and dry erase templates! #teach180 pic.twitter.com/vLyF8ElXmA

— Liz Mastalio (@MissMastalio) October 24, 2017

I figured I would blog about the templates!

We just started our new quarter this week, and we had learned how to graph using slope intercept form before finals last quarter, but I knew students still hadn’t mastered it, then we started this quarter out learning how to write slope intercept form equations starting from a graph. I decided to make this randomized practice for a few reasons:

First, I asked the students to have me check their work after each problem before they could move on. This really let me know who was getting it and who wasn’t, and I didn’t let them move on to the other side of the template until I felt confident that they knew what they were doing on the first part! They all started with the graphing and then moved to the writing equations side.

Second, I wanted any “special cases” like vertical or horizontal lines to come up naturally when they were writing equations. We had already practiced the special cases enough in the graphing for me to feel comfortable that they were okay with those, so it wasn’t too big of a deal that you couldn’t get those cases on that template.

Third, it’s kind of fun to let the dice decide! I think students feel like this is a bit less in my control so then they tend to take even the more challenging problems in stride instead of just getting grumpy with me for assigning them a “hard one”.

Here is the “graphing” side of the template:

Notice that the differences between options 1-4 are where the negatives are. When I use this activity again, I’ll probably change #5 and #6 to be horizontal and vertical lines, so y=___ and x = ____.

Here’s the “writing equations” side of the template:

Some of these create lines with y-intercepts that don’t show on this graph window, or are non-integer values. When my students ran into these, I had them estimate where they thought they would be and let them know that there would be another strategy to deal with these that we will learn in a few weeks (we will be learning about point-slope form equation later this unit). I made the sets of A and B points so that many of them would result in integer y-intercepts and easily simplified slopes, but that some wouldn’t. This was intentional to preview the need for other types of linear equation forms.

My students who mastered both of these skills with enough time left in our class period, I asked to give me a written explanation, in words, of how you write an equation to go with a line. I’m trying to give them more practice writing in math class, communicating their ideas. They’re very reluctant to do this and aren’t very confident yet, but I got some fairly decent explanations (most were incomplete or lacking a lot of detail, but we’ll work on it!).

Download these templates in editable Publisher form here or in PDF form here.