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This lesson provided by:
Author:Elizabeth Thompson
System: Etowah County
School: West End High School
Lesson Plan ID: 23865

It’s a Party! Solving Multi-step Equations


Often students are confused about ‘where to start’ when solving a multi-step equation. In this lesson the equation is labeled as a ‘party’. The 'host' is labeled (x) with remaining operations being labeled according to their relationship to the host (friends, family, acquaintances, etc...). Technology assignments are used as one method to assess student understanding.
This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.

Content Standard(s):
MA2015(8) 9. Solve linear equations in one variable. [8-EE7]
MA2015(9-12) Algebra16. Explain each step in solving a simple equation as following from the equality of numbers asserted at the previous step, starting from the assumption that the original equation has a solution. Construct a viable argument to justify a solution method. [A-REI1]
MA2015(9-12) Algebra17. Solve linear equations and inequalities in one variable, including equations with coefficients represented by letters. [A-REI3]
Local/National Standards:

NCTM Standards (9-12): (1) Number Operations: Understand meanings of operations and how they relate to one another. (2) Algebra: Represent and analyze mathematical situations and structures using algebraic symbols (3) Problem Solving: apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems; (4) Communication: organize and consolidate their mathematical thinking through communication; communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others; (5) Connections: recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Learn to identify parts of a multi-step equation Learn to solve multi-step equations

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Order of Operations come into play in the assignment when students check their answer.

Approximate Duration of the Lesson: Greater than 120 Minutes
Materials and Equipment:

Sample problems PowerPoint Presentation

Technology Resources Needed:

Projector for PowerPoint presentation Internet Access Wiki


Print PowerPoint using 'notes pages' so you have a copy of the commentary. Review PowerPoint with ‘fly-ins’ Have practice problems available Prepare a collaborative blog page where students can post sample problems and responses. Students need to have a firm grasp on order of operations and one-step equations

1.)Print PowerPoint with notes pages and view the PowerPoint prior to student viewing (many fly-ins).

2.)Set up a wiki space for students to complete homework assignment. It is always a good idea to have the page ready prior to class so students without internet access at home can attempt the project from the school computer lab. A sample on the wiki can also be helpful.
(Wiki Space)
This website offers a free wikispace for all educators.

3.)If students are unfamiliar with wiki, they can preview the process on prior to the assignment.
(Wikis in plain english)
This site explains wikis

4.)Use PowerPoint to review one-step equations by the 'party method'. Have additional practice problems available as needed.

5.)Assess student understanding using a wiki (assignment 1 - see handout). Basics: Students post an original equation on the class wiki. Students identify parts of their equation using the 'party method' discussed in class (see PowerPoint). Finally, students solve the equations of five other students correctly to turn in (paper/pencil).

6.)Provide practice problems with increasing difficulty over several days (variables on both sides of the equal sign etc.).

7.)As students are able to solve more difficult multi-step equations, you can assess knowledge using a stapleless book. The student logs on to the website (given) and uses an equation as the title. Each page of the flip book solves another step of the equation. The student can print the book to turn in to the teacher. (See Assignment 2 handout)
(stapleless books)
This website allows the student to create a flip book where each page is the next step in an equation.

8.)Assess students formally after several days of practice with equations.

Attachments:**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. Student Assignment 2.rtf
Multi step equations.ppt
Student Assignment 1.rtf
Assessment Strategies:

Rubrics provided on student assignment handouts (2). Formal assessment should also be given. *Explaining to students that checking their work will help them find a 'reasonable answer' on an exit exam may be helpful to the student.


This lesson can be extended (used as a review) prior to solving equations that involve trigonometric functions, logarithms, etc..


Review one-step equations in detail.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior

Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.
Variations Submitted by ALEX Users:
Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

Hosted by Alabama Supercomputer Authority
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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