Teacher Lesson Plan
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This activity is aligned to NCTM Standards - Grades 6-8: Algebra, Problem Solving, Reasoning and Proof, and Communication and to California Mathematics Standards Grade 7: Algebra and Functions #1 and Mathematical Reasoning #1.1, 1.2, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6.
Glencoe's Interactive Mathematics text provides an activity (Units 7-12, p. 16) called "Fruit for Thought." During the 1996-97 school year the mathematics department used a similar problem, The Variable Dilemma as an open-ended assessment question. (This is the the rubric we developed for that assessment question.) Whether presented with fruit or letters as variables, it is an interesting problem for students to solve.
Each group of 4 students is given a "Fruit for Thought" chart to record the digits from 0 - 9 which correspond to the fruit used in the equations. They are instructed to turn to page 16 to begin determining the values that each fruit represents. Remind the students that there is a unique digit corresponding to each fruit.
Discuss the properties that this exercise uses.
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