Practice Session on Creating and Solving Equations and Inequalities

4 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT create equations and inequalities in one variable to model scenarios. SWBAT solve equations and inequalities.

Big Idea

Worksheets are cut up (literally!) to make the process and skills of creating and solving equations and inequalities more automatic.

Entry Ticket

15 minutes

For the Entry Ticket: Practice Session - Creating and Solving Equations and InequalitiesI spiral back to the previous lesson. Having students practice skills from previous lessons gives them another space to ask questions about the concept after having some time to process and think about what we worked on last class. 

I display the problem on a white board that I have designated for entry tickets - this is a strategy I use so that students have a routine at the beginning of class and it helps with transitions - all students come into class, take out their materials and are expected to look at the entry ticket board for work (if the entry ticket is more involved/a worksheet then I put a note on the white board saying - refer to the entry ticket worksheet). 

This is a great example of meeting the needs of students with disabilities through Universal Design for Learning. The routine and structure that accompanies the entry ticket, for example, serves a number of students well, and could also be an accommodation for a student High-Functioning Autism or ADD, for example. 

Class Discussion and Homework Review

20 minutes

For the next 10 minutes I review the entry ticket problems as a class. The reason for spending the time with this activity is to give more practice and to be sure all students in the class are reminded about how we went about solving similar problems last class. 

The next 10 minutes involves reviewing problems from homework that students had difficult with. The homework from the last lesson can be found in the resources of this section and by following this link: Exit Ticket HW:Creating Equations and Inequalities

This way, I am giving a review for students with relevant work that they have already worked with - when I give students new problems for review sometimes it is difficult because they get caught up in the details and/or have trouble re-integrating the new problems. 

I like to change it up and review difficult homework problems from time to time as well because it gives more ownership to the students to identify and monitor their own understanding by selecting problems that are difficult from their perspective. 

Jigsaw, Part 1 (Expert Groups): Solving Equations and Inequalities

20 minutes

For the middle 40 minutes of class, I like to use the Jigsaw instructional strategy. For more information on using the jigsaw visit  

To start the section, I use different practice problems/worksheets. Each group of 3-5 students are assigned a particular type of equation or inequality. I like to assign the type of problem based on where each group is at (and, as an important note, I do group students by ability level on most occasion for the jigsaw expert groups).

For example, you could have groups working on: (1) solving one-step equations, (2) solving two-step equations, and (3) solving one and two step inequalities. Kuta Software is an excellent resource for generating worksheets with lots of examples and practice for students. The link for the free worksheet generator is:

After each group has completed the assigned worksheets, I like to cut the problems up and put them in a pile. This way I can mix a few problems from the solving equations worksheet with the solving inequalities worksheet. I have found that giving students a few problem from each worksheet is a good way to recycle content and review. 

Jigsaw, Part 2 (Mixed Groups): Solving Equations and Inequalities

20 minutes

For the concluding 20 minutes of the Jigsaw activity, students leave their expert groups and form heterogeneous groups. The groups are now mixed on both the type of problem and the ability level (I originally grouped student by ability for the expert group task and gave each expert group similar types of problems). The intent of this mixed group time is for each member of the group to present and solve the problems they bring to the table. In this way every member of the group: (1) gets to present and teach a few selected problems they became experts at; and (2) learns about all of the different types of problems from their classmates.

I really like to use the Jigsaw technique in this way because I think it allows students to engage in Math Practice 3. When they exchange roles they typically generate and critique arguments in an environment that is less intimidating than a whole class setting. 


Exit Ticket and Homework

15 minutes

To conclude the lesson, I first ask students to complete a quick Think, Pair, Share by writing the following on the whiteboard/SmartBoard: 

1. Identify one skill or concept you are better at from practice today

2. Identify one skill or concept you still need help on

I have students jot down notes in response to the prompts for 2 minutes, have them share with a partner for 3 minutes and have a class discussion for about 5 minutes to recap the lesson. As an alternate use of technology, I could have students enter their responses on Poll Everywhere, This is an excellent technology because students can text or use a laptop/tablet to respond to a poll in class - the technology collects the responses in real time without names, so students and the teacher can see all the responses projected on the smartboard as they are types in but without the embarrassment of being identified. 

For the remaining 10 minutes or so of class, I have students work on the homework assignment for class. The assignment involves solving equations and inequalities. I want students to become fluent with this skill. Fluency is necessary to access a number of deeper level concepts in Algebra I.

Once again I like using Kuta Software - to generate the worksheets - I would suggest printing out different worksheets and letting students pick the level they want to choose - easy, medium and challenge as an example. I would have students have to complete at least one worksheet for equations and one for inequalities so they get practice outside of school on both of the skills.