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Sticky Note Mobiles in Math Concepts

I’m back to cleaning out old draft posts.  Today, the plan is to share about a sticky note challenge I issued my math concepts students.  At my school, math concepts is a class for freshman that are not yet ready for Algebra 1.  The puzzles in this post were taken from the Transition to Algebra curriculum.

Students were placed in pairs and given four sticky notes with the four values (example: 80, 81, 38, and 39) written on them with marker.  Each pair stood in front of a hand-drawn mobile on the dry erase board.  When I told them to go, they had to determine how to place sticky notes on the mobiles so both sides would be equal.  

This sparked a lot of awesome conversation between the students in each pair.  Students were asking each other to justify their placements, and it was a beautiful sight to behold!

Even better, we had a great conversation afterward about helpful strategies to solving

Looking back at this activity now, I’m now wondering how I could create a similar activity within the Algebra 1 curriculum.  Any ideas?  The only idea I’ve had so far is to make mobiles that require students to combine like terms.


Saturday 1st of July 2017

What about four ordered pairs? They have to arrange them so the slopes are equal.


Tuesday 30th of May 2017

For algebra 1, what about standard form, slope-intercept form, and point slope form? Also, different forms of quadratic equations?

In my curriculum, we have to work with simplifying exponents, so that is another possibility.


Friday 26th of May 2017

Can you give me more information about Transition to Algebra? Is this something that your district or school paid for? How many classes use Transition to Algebra? It sounds like something my school might be interested.

maureen jacobs

Friday 26th of May 2017

How about factored form and standard form of quadratic?


Saturday 27th of May 2017

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Saturday 27th of May 2017

Oooh I like your thinking Maureen