Today we begin to make the transition from solving equations to creating and graphing them. Today's opener reviews distributive property, quadrants on the coordinate plane, and solving equations with variables on both sides (assessment over that last one is tomorrow).
Then I briefly define recursive sequence to give them the necessary vocabulary and relate it to pattern problems they've done in previous years. Then, in their groups, they explore patterns using toothpicks to create sequences of triangles and then eventually squares. The focus is on trying to nail down the idea of a starting value and then a rule to get to each successive term in the sequence, while giving them something concrete to work with (and throwing in a tiny bit of geometry).
If we finish early I'll throw some additional patterns on the board for them to practice finding the starting value and the rule (and possibly invite them to create their own for each other).
The homework will be to prepare for the Solving Equations with Variables on Both Sides assessment tomorrow (and to complete the blog post from yesterday if they haven't done that yet).