Solving Multi Step Equations: Comparing Processes (Day 2 of 4)

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SWBAT compare different processes used when solving a multi step equation.

Big Idea

Students will learn that there are multiple paths that can be taken to solve an equation that all yield the same solution.


10 minutes

Students will complete the Multi Step Do-Now in their notebooks. Six students will come up to the board to show their work and solutions on the whiteboard for the class to review.

Next, a student will read the objective to the class: SWBAT compare different processes used when solving a multistep equation. I will ask one student to discuss the process we used during our last class to solve a multi-step equation. 

Guided Notes + Practice

20 minutes

Using this Presentation, I will solve the equation on Slide 2 for the students as a recap of our previous lesson. I will verbalize the same process for every equation that I solve, "distributive property, combine.....".

Students will then solve the equation on slide three and respond using clickers or whiteboards.

Next, I will tell the class that two students, Student A and Student B, have solved the multistep equation 6x + 4 = 14x - 28. I will ask the class to compare the work of the two students, and to decide which student solved the equation correctly.

After a minute, I will ask a student from each side of the poll to justify their response. I then will tell the class that I asked them a trick question, and that both students are correct.

I will solve the first equation on their notes, 6n + 17 = 5 + 4n, three times. The first time I solve the equation my initial step will be to subtract 17 from both sides. The second time I solve, I will first subtract 6n from both sides. The third time I solve, I will first subtract 4n. I will ask a student volunteer to think of a fourth way that I could also solve the equation that would yield the same solution. I will then ask students to brainstorm why multiple methods works, and to decide if eliminating one path was preferable to another.

From this point forward, I tell the class that I will no longer be labeling the top of equations with the heading variables/constants. I will ask the students why the heading is no longer necessary.

Note: Some of my students prefer to and benefit from using the heading to guide them as they solve equations which is an easy way to differentiate activities going forward.

Students will work with a partner to solve the remaining three equations on their notes, solving each example three different ways.


40 minutes

Preparation Note: The station activity has to be cut up and posted on the walls around the classroom before class begins.

Students will choose a "journey" and circulate around the classroom solving the equations on the walls. Students must solve each equation two ways on their answer sheet.

While the class is completing the station activity, I will work with a small group of students who did not perform well on the previous exit card to review solving multi-step equations for 15 minutes.

After 35 minutes, the class will reconvene and the correct responses for the station activity will be displayed on the board (slides 9-11).


10 minutes

I will ask one student to summarize what we did in class today. Students will then complete the exit cardThe exit cards should be graded directly after class. Students should be grouped by the percentage of correct for planning to differentiate the next lesson.