Inverse Cue

Student Contributor: S. Killian
Using a cue to grab the students’ attention can be helpful especially when it reinforces math vocabulary. After saying a positive or negative number, students will say the inverse or opposite number. This is a helpful tool for moving groups to the next station in a timely matter.

Inverse Cue is a great way to help reinforce what an inverse or opposite operation is for one-step equations or inequalities. Before using this cue, make sure you collaborate with your students about using a new cue. Tell students that when you say a number, they will say the inverse. Be prepared for students not knowing what an inverse or opposite operation is, even if you just completed the unit for solving one-step equations. If a student does ask what an inverse is, have another student first explain what an inverse or opposite operation is, before you do. I used Inverse Cue for grabbing the attention of my students during a group activity where they had to move from station to station. I tried to get the students’ attention when it was time to rotate, but the students were too focused on the activity. Then I tried Inverse Cue and I immediately got their attention. I came up with this idea to reinforce what an inverse was because when I was helping students with solving one-step equations, they struggled with understanding what the inverse means.

Inverse Cue is great to use during the supportive phase because it’s a quick way to get the student’s attention during the lesson, have them do what they need to do, and then continue working. If students are off task, then Inverse Cue will help students to refocus and then get back to work. Inverse Cue could be a part of the lesson where the teacher uses it to teach beginning concepts about inverse or opposite operations. Inverse Cue might be used for the preventative phase where the teacher teaches the students how to do Inverse Cue before the lesson to prevent students from being too loud or off task.

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Tool Source: S. Killian

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