Lesson: Solve One Step Addition/Subtraction Equations

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Lesson Objective

SWBAT solve one step addition and subtraction equations. (SWBAT understand that adding or subtracting the same number from both sides of an equation results in an equivalent equation)

Lesson Plan



Do Now

(8:30 – 8:40)/(10:00 –10:10) 

·         Teacher walks around to greet students and check in with students about their do now and homework

HW Check

·         Teacher walks around to help/spot check student HW

Mental Math

(8:40 – 8:50) /(10:10 – 10:20)

·          Teacher reads and reveals a series of 6 problems – helping students to think of strategies to help students solve the problems

·         Teacher pulls sticks (cold call) to have students answer the questions

Mini Lesson

(8:50 – 9:25)/(10:20 – 10:55)


·         Review some key ideas from the unit – what is the difference between equations and expressions. 

·         Discuss that because equations have equals sign we can solve them to figure out what the value of the variable is.  It won’t be given to us like when we evaluate expressions

·         Link to the idea of the “unknown” and use the vocabulary interchangeably with variable


·         Ask students the definition of inverse (or opposite) and for an example. 

·         Addition and subtraction are opposites of each other 

·         Multiplication and Division are opposites or inverses

·         Discuss in math we have four different operations and each has an inverse or one that undoes the other. 

·         Discuss balance – an equation has two expressions that are equal to each other.  That means if we do the same thing to each side of the equation it will still be balanced or equal.   Understanding this concept will help us to solve for (find the unknown value)  the variable.  

·         Demonstrate this understanding by using a visual for the students of a balance – and adding/subtracting the same amount from both sides results in an equation that is equal to the original.  Model several examples (whole numbers, decimal numbers, fractions)  

·         Discuss how to check your work – this is a MUST, work will not be given credit if there is no check.

·         Plug your answer back into the expression with the variable and make sure that it is equal to the other expression within the equation



·         Students will practice solving addition/subtraction equations – with guided questions and then without – with checking of the work. 

·         Items will get progressively difficult (whole numbers, decimals, fractions) 

·         Also include the number before the variable  to see

if students can match the inverse properly.


·         Students will chose a value of problems to do (more difficult problems will be more points)


·         Make sure students understand the idea of balancing questions

·         Highlight common mistakes

Skills Time

(9:35- 9:50) /(11:05-11:25)

Hands on Equations



Lesson Resources

Notes One Step Addition/Subtraction Equations  
U8 L4 Finding the Unknown One Step Add Subtract Equations  


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