The Yo-Yo Problem
Solving Linear Equations
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Students explore linear patterns, write a pattern in symbolic form, and solve linear
equations using algebra tiles, symbolic manipulation, and the graphing calculator.
Overview of the Lesson
The lesson starts with the presentation of the yo-yo problem. Students then
complete a hands-on activity involving a design created with pennies that allows
them to explore a linear pattern and express that pattern in symbolic form. Algebra
tiles are introduced as the students practice solving linear equations. Working from
the concrete to the abstract is especially important for students who have difficulty
with mathematics, and algebra tiles help students make this transition. In addition
to using algebra tiles, students also use symbolic manipulation and the graphing
calculator. Finally, the students return to solve the yo-yo problem. A very special
feature of this lesson is the effective use of peer tutors in this inclusion classroom.