sum it - a quadratic activity

Three FREE activities for Solving Equations

We begin the year with a review of solving equations and proportions.  When we are just doing non-contextual math and practicing skills, I love to play games. We have already done three activities (Head’s Up/Sum It/4 Quadrant Game/Match It/Sort It)


If you would like a copy of these three solving equations activities, click here. You can use these activities right away. I’ve provided both teacher/student directions along with the problems or vocabulary words I used.

Head’s Up Vocabulary (great for every unit) – students love this!

Description of Activity: One student will hold the vocabulary word to his/her head while the other students gives clues. Once they guess the word, they place it down and pick up another word. This continues until no word remains. Then they can shuffle words and switch roles.

  • Note: You can give a specific amount of time or have them play until all group members have done both roles (guesser/clue giver).

Teacher Directions:

  • Copy words onto different colored paper if possible.
    • Make enough copies for students to work in groups.
  • Give each pair of students one set of words.
    • Note: give groups of students next to each other different colors. When they drop a word, you will know which set it belongs to.
  • You can have each student go through all the words, or split the words in half.

Student Directions:

  • Decide who is going to start in each role.
    • Guesser
    • Clue giver
  • Guesser: Take a vocabulary word from your pile and hold it to your forehead. Don’t look at the word.
  • Clue Giver:  Give verbal or written clues until your partner guesses the correct word.
  • Continue your role until no words remain.
  • Switch roles then play again.

Sum IT Activity

Teacher Directions:

  • Place students into groups of 4.
  • Have students decide who is person A, who is person B, who is person C and who is person D.


Student Directions:

  • Solve the problem that corresponds to your letter for problem set #1
  • Add all of your solutions together.
  • Check your sum with your teacher.
  • Repeat previous three steps until you are finished with all problems.


Four Quadrant Game

Step 1: Take a large piece of paper, fold it in half and in half again. Then trace your lines with a dark marker to make the coordinate plane.

  • Note:  I added in an asymptote and a growth function; however, you don’t need these.

If you want the full game along with the other two activities, click now. 


Students will place equations with variables on both sides into different categories (no solution, one solution, infinite solutions).

Match It

Students solve equations with distributing and match their solutions to them. If you are worried about students guessing, you can have them solve all of the equations then give them solutions to match.


If you want a copy of all of these activities,


I hope you and your students enjoy THEM.  Please comment with any questions!


What’s your focus for the 2017-2018 school year?

Every year, I choose a focus as I start the school year. My focus for this year is going to be REAL MATH. I want to really show my Algebra students how what they are learning applies to real life.

I took a graduate school class over the summer which was based in STEM. Our final project was to take a course we teach and find at least two activities per unit that were STEM related. I chose Algebra 1.


During my research, I find some really great resources. I already knew about Dan Meyer. We will be doing the stacking cups activity within the next two weeks, we are currently in a unit on solving equations.  STACKING CUPS  Activity.


I also found some other great activities which are all included in my 29 page pdf. All activities are linked to common core standards and math practices.


If you would like a copy of my report, click here: