One of the things that’s a constant struggle for me every year is giving students access to answer keys for homework problems. I want homework to be useful to students. I want them to be able to check their work to know if they’re doing it right, but I go back on forth with whether I should just give students answers or worked out solutions. I am also terrible at remembering to upload answer keys to Google Drive for students. If anyone has a system that works for them, please share!

Last week in two of my classes, I assigned a worksheet like this:

I was introduced to this type of a worksheet this summer by **Sara Van Der Werf. **She had us do the one below at one of her **PD sessions** this summer. It was **this** activity from **Don Steward**. All but one of the expressions simplifies to 5n + 3, and you need to find the expression that doesn’t and show that all the others do. I like it because students know that 7 of the answers will be the expression in the middle. I don’t have to worry about remembering an answer key for students!

I created similar versions for evaluating expressions and order of operations with integers that I used last week in two different classes. It was easier to make 7 problems that all evaluated or simplified to the same answer than I anticipated. For the problem that doesn’t work, I tried to create a problem that if students make a common error, the expression still equals what’s in the middle. For example a problem might have -6^{2} and if students say it is 36 the final answer will equal what’s in the center.

So far, I am really liking how well students have been working together on them. For whatever reason, it seems that students are more engaged and are more willing to go back and find their own mistakes rather than asking me for help right away when they know that 7 of the answers are the same. I’m not really sure how this is any different than having the answers in the back of the book, but I’ll take it!

I’m using this one this week for simplifying expressions because I was looking for slightly different types of problems than what I found on Don’s website.

You can find pdf files for the worksheets **here**. I don’t know that the Publisher files would be of any use to anyone since I created the equations in Word and copied them to Publisher and used a random font for the other text, but if you want them let me know. I can upload those too.

If anyone has created something similar to this or ends up creating similar things, I would love to share resources!