Algebra Project: The Analog Clock

Here is an algebra clock project that I’ve created for my 8th graders based on ideas I found here and here. I anticipate doing Simplify with Me‘s Hidden Squares Activity and Map Shell’s “Building and Solving Complex Equations” first.

I decide to make this a partner project….Partner A makes 6 equations and Partner B makes the other 6. They are responsible for checking their partner’s equations and creating a “clock: together. (In other words, writing the equations out on construction paper and making it look nice. How cool would it be to buy cheap clocks and have the kids replace the backgrounds though!)

The worksheet looks like this:

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It’s not incredibly exciting or rigorous, but I’m hoping it will serve these other purposes (and help us get to more rigor later on!)

  • This year I want to emphasize that doing math can be messy. I don’t want students to be worried about writing down the right answer – I want them to see writing/drawing as a tool that helps them play with math and aids their problem-solving. But I also want them to see that we can record this thinking and playing in a somewhat organized way that allows other people to follow their thinking. (I’d like a catchier phrase than “organized mess”!) This project will get them practicing.
  • Hopefully creating these clocks for the walls/hallways will add to a feeling of pride and ownership over our classroom.
  • Since students will be checking each other’s work and given a chance to revise their work, I think this will help boost the feeling that everyone is expected to contribute to everyone else’s learning.
  • It gives artistic/creative kids space to shine.

Here is the packet for Partner A and here is the packet for Partner B. Here is the rubric . I graded each partner separately. If you make a copy, you can edit it!

Feedback/ideas welcome!


    • Hi!

      I ended up changing the project slightly….the students worked in pairs and each student created 6 of the equations, and then they created the clock together. Here is that rubric.

      In case it’s useful….here are the updated student packets….one for partner A and the other for partner B.

Always happy to hear from readers!