For some reason, my students find it pretty difficult to to plug numbers into a simple formula. Even when I wasn’t teaching science last year, the science teacher used to always ask me what he could do to help our students improve in this area. For me, I think it is so easy. Figure out what info you have, plug the numbers into the formula. Boom. Done. Easy. I guess that’s why I’m a math teacher. I don’t know.
My 6th graders are working on solving density problems. In science, they are allowed to use a calculator so for the most part, once they figure out what numbers to use, (most of them) can punch the numbers into the calculator and solve.
To help them out, I made a large copy of the density formula. Each student got a small pad of post-its. I posted each problem on the SMARTboard and then the students wrote down the information given in the problem and placed each number over the correct part of the formula. After solving the problem, the students transferred the post-its into their notebooks. It worked really well! I will definitely be using this method next time we work on formulas. Click on the picture below to download the PDF.