Fractional coefficients

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SWBAT solve equations with fractional coefficients.

Big Idea

Get kids to play matchmaker by matching up fractional coefficients with their perfect match... another fraction with whom they become 1. :)


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.

Play of the Day

40 minutes

In this lesson, I walk kids through some basic equations, and show them that they are essentially creating 1's for coefficients.  For example, 3x = 84.  When you divide by 3 on both sides, you are creating a 1 (3 over 3). 

We can apply this thinking to fractional coefficients.  How can we create “1” with a fractional coefficient?  (We need to multiply by the multiplicative inverse.)  I use an analogy that the kids love… matchmaker.  Make a perfect match – reciprocals are perfect matches, because when multiplied, they yield 1.  

Then, we extend this to negative fractional coefficients as well… how can you create a POSITIVE 1 (a positive relationship with no yelling and arguing)… by using a negative number as the multiplicative inverse.


10 minutes

In the huddle in this lesson, we review a bunch of examples where kids make the perfect matches… and I tell the same joke over and over again until it sticks. J  The kids generally love it, and also understand the concept of multiplicative inverse.


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.