Two Step Equations

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SWBAT solve two step equations using inverse operations.

Big Idea

Students will apply their knowledge of inverse operations to solve two step equations.


10 minutes

Students will complete the Two step equations Do Now in 5 minutes. Then, we will orally complete the Do-Now as a whole group. Students will be solving two-step equations in today's lesson, so this starter begins to bridge together what students have learned in lessons three and four of this unit. At the end of this warm-up, I encourage my class to keep their paper out on their desk (especially lower performing students) as a visual "cheat sheet" to see which operations undo each other.

Next, a student will read the objective to the class: SWBAT solve two step equations using inverse operations. I will then ask the students to give real world examples of tasks that can be completed in one step versus tasks that can be completed in two steps.


15 minutes

We will spend three minutes completing the True/False questions as a whole group (slides 2-4). Students will raise a fist in the air if they believe the solution is true, and an open hand if they believe the solution is false. To justify/disprove a solution, I will call on student volunteers to come up to the board and check their work by evaluating for the given variable.  

Next the class will complete a group challenge. I remind students that we've completed a lesson that is similar to this activity one in the past.

  • To prepare for this activity, the riddle cards should be printed out and taped on the walls around your classroom prior to students arriving. Students will also need 8 post-it notes each.  

We will complete the number riddle on slide 5 together. The answer to this number riddle is 2. I will then challenge the class to figure out the rest of the mystery numbers in pairs.  Students will have exactly 2 minutes to race around the classroom, sticking a post-it with the correct answer to each riddle card.

After two minutes, we will have a class discussion about the different methods students used to calculate the mystery number for each riddle card. I will emphasize the decisions students made in choosing operations to find the missing answer. I will use the following questions to lead students to a deeper understanding of where we are going with this lesson:

  • How did you figure out the mystery number for card ____?
  • Did anyone else solve card ____ differently?
  • How did the order of the words affect your approach?
  • Which operation did you use first to solve this card?
  • Is anyone seeing a pattern? 
  • Did it matter which operation you used first to solve a riddle?
  • Can a given card have more than one solution?
  • How can you check your solution?
  • Why did you use addition first for card _____ but subtraction first for card _____ ?

Guided Notes & Practice

25 minutes

We will complete the two step equations guided notes and examples as a whole group. I still require students to draw a line through their equal sign and label the two sides of their equations to prevent errors in solving.

Slide 10: Students will practice solving two step equations with a partner. 

1)Complete a – d. Work independently. Show your work in column 1.

2)Write your final answer in column two.

3)Fold your paper along the dashed line.

4)Find a partner. Then, place your folded papers next to each other so that your column 3 and their column three are beside each other.

5)If your answers are the same, place a check mark in box three. If your answers are different, Write a sentence describing the error in column four, then solve the problem together.

6)Continue working, stopping to check in with your partner after your have each completed four problems.

Partner Activity

20 minutes
  • This activity must be cut out and paper clipped by the teacher before class begins.

Students will work in pairs to unscramble the equation cards. Each set should have four cards in it, that show the correct process to solve each two step equation. When students finish, the cards should be glued down on a piece of colored paper.

If you are having trouble viewing the file correctly on you computer, I have also included a pdf version of this activity.


10 minutes

I will ask two students to give a 15 second summary of what we learned in class today. Students will then complete the two step equations exit card. The exit cards should be graded directly after class, and the students should then be grouped by the percentage of correct questions for the small group activity to be completed during the next lesson.