After a rather disruptful couple of weeks for my year 8 class (trips took them out of school, and various other things), we had kind of finished straight line graphs, but I wanted to use one final single lesson to check they had all understood what we had done. We had done lots of drawing axes and plotting graphs, but I really wanted to check their ability to recognise graphs, rather than the laborious process of drawing them out.
I decided to do this Straight Line Graphs Matching Activity instead. The premise is simple. There are 24 graphs and 24 equations, and students have to match up each of them.
I ran this as a simple group exercise, by laminating the sheets of graphs, and getting students to cut out the equations and place them next to the appropriate graph. I gave each group of 4 two whiteboard pens to use on the laminated graphs (intentionally two pens so they would have to work as a group) to show their working. This worked well, and the groups used their knowledge of y=mx+c to identify the straight lines, and coped very well with the "deliberate" mistake (this has been removed from the file on TES). There was lots of discussion going on as to which of the intercept and gradient related to the m, and also identifying negative and fractional gradients.
It showed me that they were indeed ready to move on, and helped them build up a little bit more confidence in an area that had been a bit segmented for them (although I didn't get to do my plenary because of a fire alarm!)
However, after the lesson, I was reflecting on how I used the resource I had made, and thought that there may be some other really effective ways to utilise it.
One thought was to cut out the graphs, and put them up on the wall around the classroom. Then each student or pair would be given a sheet of the equations, and they would have to go around the room, writing down the letter of the graph that matches each equation. This could also be done in the form of a race, with prizes for the first team with all correct.
Another idea I had was to give each student a graph and an equation (not matching), and then get them to go around the room trying to find the matching pairs and to swap so that each student has one correctly matching pair. This could be altered so that some students start with a sheet of graphs, whilst others have a single equation, and the idea is that each equation and its owner must end up in a group with the student with the correct sheet of graphs for them.
Finally, a slightly different way to approaching the activity to the way I chose to could be to start by giving each group only the graphs, and they have to give each graph an equation. Then, once they have finished labelling all the graphs, give out the sheet of equations for them to match up, and see if they want to change their mind for any of the graphs.
Overall the resource worked really well, and the students got a lot from it, and it quickly showed me that they were ready to move on.
I am a maths teacher looking to share good ideas for use in the classroom, with a current interest in integrating educational research into my practice.