I’m catching up on blogging about a couple of activities I did before my student teacher took over my classes. Here’s a brief overview & reflection about our Gummy Bear problem for linear systems.

**Act 1**

The prompt:

I asked (via PearDeck):

- What do you notice?
- What do you wonder?
- Estimate the cost of a red gummy bear?
- Solve for the cost of a red gummy bear
- Solve for the cost of a blue gummy bear

**Act 2**

I gave the groups access to some fake coins and some blue & red blocks to represent the candies. I didn’t get shots of everybody’s work, but here is an example from one group:

**Act 3**

The solution:

**Consolidation**:

Using some direct teaching, I asked them to come up with an equation for each purchase if x represents the cost of 1 red candy and y represents the cost of 1 blue candy. Then I asked them to graph the two equations in Desmos & we looked at & talked about the point of intersection.

The next day, we worked on this consolidation handout reviewing the most important new learning from yesterday. The rest of the second day was dedicated to this problem set on Khan Academy (they were encouraged to use Desmos to help them with it).

**My reflections**

- A colleague suggested showing students one purchase at a time and asking them what some possible prices for each colour could be.
- I wondered whether or not this is a good context, because in reality, the blue & red gummy bears would not have different costs. Thoughts? Might this be a problem for students trying to understand the problem & context?

All materials for this activity are here.

– Laura Wheeler (Teacher @ Ridgemont High School, OCDSB; Ottawa, ON)

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