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Lesson on Variables

Lesson on Variables Using a cylindrical "variable machine" to assign numbers from 0 to 25 to the 26 letters of the alphabet, students explore the value of different words, how to maximize and minimize the value of words and how to "set" the machine to get a specific value for a given word, all as a vehicle for helping develop the concept of variable and the linkage of numbers and letters.
Reflection Topics & Videos  Tasks
Discourse
Student Learning
Teaching Decisions
The Mathematics
Lesson Plan(PDF) Review the complete lesson plan and accompanying worksheets.
Student Work  View student work from this lesson.
Engaging in the Mathematics 

1. The value of Judith's name when the Variable Machine sets the 0 with A is 66. What would be the value of her name if the 0 is set with B?

2. Jack and Judy both have four letter names that begin with J. Why is the value of Judy's name always going to be greater than Jack's for any common setting of the Variable machine?

About the Teacher  about1 aRosemary Klein, 4th Grade
Davidson Elementary School
Charlotte-Mecklenberg, NC
Angela Baucom, principal

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