That Moment When They “Get It” (10/22/14)

Today with my 8th graders we were investigating linear equations written in slope-intercept (before I told them what slope-intercept form was) with Desmos (of course). It wasn’t anything great, students input some equations into Desmos and then found the slope of the line and its y-intercept. Then I wrote each equation on the board, wrote its slope and intercept underneath it, and then stepped away and asked them what they noticed about the equations, their slopes, and intercepts. A couple hands shot up right away, but I waited. As students stared at the board, I knew EXACTLY when they saw it. I knew because of their faces. As soon as they saw it, some got a big smile on their faces, some said quietly to themselves, “Ohhhhh I see it,” and some just threw their hands in the air. Being able to see that moment when a kid “gets it” or notices something for the first time is one of my all-time favorite things that happens in the classroom. I need to work on designing more lessons and investigations where that can happen more often.

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