Solving Equations- Distributive Property

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SWBAT solve equations that require using the distributive property.

Big Idea

Give a little love! Get kids to distribute to every term within the parentheses while solving equations.


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, #3 provided a particularly rich learning activity.

A rectangle has a height that is five less than triple the base, b.  Which of the following shows the perimeter of this rectangle?

Most students who chose the wrong answer chose "3b - 5."  This provided a chance to talk about:

- close reading of the problem

- using a diagram to model a situation

- collecting like terms, including with negative numbers.


A task that has a bit of a "gotcha" element tends to stay in kids' minds longer, as long as there is a memorable and understood "aha" moment, which this task has.  I love using this as a warm-up problem, particularly as the last problem.


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.