Solving Two-Step Equations Lab

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SWBAT use concrete models to solve two-step equations.

Big Idea

Can students make the connection between solving equations concretely and abstractly?


5 minutes

As students enter the room, they will have a seat, take out their Problem of the Day (POD) sheet and begin to work on the question on the SMARTboard. The POD allows students to use MP 3 continually based on the discussions we have about the problem each day.

The solution for the equation 3x – 2 = 22 is x = 8. Explain how the solution would be affected if instead of an equation, the problem was the inequality 3x – 2 > 22.

As we move into work with solving equations, I think it is good to touch base again on our work with inequalities. The process for solving is the same even though representation of the solution may look different. I want students to have that relationship established in their minds. I don’t want them to view them as two separate entities but rather as connected concepts that have a relationship. This problem will allow us to review that relationship.


30 minutes

Students will complete the Solving Two-Step Equations Lab with a partner. The lab will allow them to make their abstract understanding concrete. As they work through the lab with their partners, they will be able to “see” the solutions they are creating. That concrete visual will support their understanding of the abstract solutions they have created in previous class activities. For students who may have struggled with solving numeric equations, the pictures may help establish that connection for them. For students who have a good grasp of the concept, the concrete activity may strengthen that understanding. After students work through the lab with their partner, we will have volunteers come up to model the solutions on the SMARTboard using the algebra tiles. I can also ask students to come up if they had an interesting discussion or a creative way to solve the problem.


5 minutes

The exit ticket today will ask students to solve a problem that adds an additional step to solve the equation. They will need to apply the distributive property in order to solve the equation. It will be a review of a concept they should know while adding the application to the concept we are learning now. If we need to do an additional review, this exit ticket will let me know where to go.

7x + 3 = 3(2x + 4)