Introduction to solving equations

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SWBAT introduce solving equations in one variable

Big Idea

Review solving equations while focusing on maintaining equivalence across the equal sign.


10 minutes

Each day, students complete a warm-up that usually consists of spiraling the previous day's material, in addition to older material.  Warm-up problems also sometimes extend lessons that students have encountered before to more unfamiliar contexts.

In this lesson's warm-up, students are immediately pushed to apply an equation to a real-world context, and then to solve it.  I purposely ask them to identify the equation BEFORE solving it to ensure that kids make the link between these two tasks, which are too often separated.  I also push kids to ask how they would do it mentally, which then further solidifies the understanding of why we use inverse operations in general.

Early in the year, as this lesson is, I want to push the importance of understanding not only the right answer, but why each wrong answer is wrong.  I love the second part of this task, which pushes kids to explain why each is wrong.  Students come up with good descriptions of why certain answer choices are wrong that demonstrate and develop strong conceptual understanding.

Play of the Day

40 minutes


10 minutes


15 minutes

The homework includes questions related to this lesson, as well as spiraled review.  I also provide answers to the problems on page 2.