This is a two-level card sort similar to the popular NYT game Connections. Students will sort 32 cards first into 4 groups of 8 using a broad conceptual link and then will sort each of those groups into two smaller groups of 4 each using a more specific linking characteristic. Throughout the activity, students will review logarithmic simplification, graphing, and equation solving skills.
Prep: Make enough copies of the cards (preferably on cardstock) so that each group gets one set of 32. Cut the cards out and put them into a Ziploc bag.
Give each group one set of 32 cards.
Instruct the group to sort the cards into 4 general types by simply observing the problems presented on each card.
As students complete their sorting, circulate around the room to observe their progress. Without giving away answers, support the group’s conversations with questions like, “How are these two cards different from each other?” or “What commonalities have you discovered so far?”
Once all groups have sorted the cards into 4 piles, they are ready for the second sorting. This will require them to get paper and to actually solve or simplify each problem.
Instruct them to sort each of their 4 groups into 2 smaller groups with a different connection. You might prompt with suggestions such as “try solving or simplifying each first” or “think about the aspects of the graphs”.
Again, circulate around the room to observe each group’s progress. Encourage students who are struggling to partner with another student in the room to review concepts as they sort the cards.
Once all groups have completed the second sort, debrief the activity by asking how the connections were determined, what misunderstandings arose, and how the group worked together to come to a decision.
Note: For an extra challenge, have students group the cards into 8 categories right from the onset, rather than sorting in two rounds.