In keeping with my Week 1 emphasis in Algebra 1 on activating prior knowledge of how to translate words into mathematical expressions, equations, or inequalities (or at least gelling some of it back into place), I've also created a "Block" game for practicing 'Words into Math' in my Algebra 1 classes. There are two levels of game cards that correspond to Lessons 1.3 and 1.4 in McDougall Littell Algebra 1 California edition (for those of you playing along at home).
This is a variation on Maria Anderson's wonderful, tic-tac-toe-style "blocking games" (Antiderivative Block, Factor Pair Block, and Exponent Block — using her generic gameboard, rules, and my own game cards for each of these first three games of hers on her web site).
The game can be played in any number of ways — either competitive or collaborative. Students can compete against each other — tic-tac-toe style — to get four of their counters in a row. Or they can simply take turns choosing the problem and working on solving each problem on the whole board.
I've created two levels of "Words into Math Block": Level 1 (purple problem cards) and Level 2 (green problem cards). I use Maria's generic PDF gameboard and print or copy them on colored cardstock or paper. I have learned the hard way to give each level its own color ID as soon as I create the game cards so I can easily recreate the card sets later whenever I need to.
nifty Troublesome Phrase Translator slider sleeves flying during these two days. :-)
All of my materials, plus the photo above (in case you need a model) are on the Math Teacher Wiki.
Students really love these block games! I have a bunch of different "counters" that they can use as their game board markers: little stars (Woodsies from Michael's), circles, and hearts, colorful foam planet/star clusters, and various kinds of beans.
I'm hoping to get my students to be less flummoxed by mathematical language by giving them practice in using it early and often. Enjoy!