I have never really used manipulatives in my algebra class. They seemed like they would take a lot of time for not enough payout. Yet, my direct instruction (lecture and Flipped video) did not seem to get enough students to where they needed to be. Our text breaks down solving linear equations into two sections: (1) 1-step problems (e.g x – 2 = 6) and (2) multi-step problems (e.g. 3x – 1 = 9) where we combine the addition and multiplication principles. Perhaps I am guilty of rushing through the 1-step problems and not giving students a foundation in the two principles separately. I have modified an activity that was used with multi-step equations to be used for 1 step equations.
Class: Elementary Algebra
Class Time: 55 min, 3 days a week for 15 weeks
Topic: Solving 1-step linear equations with the addition principle and multiplication principle
This is their second lesson in this class. Prior to this, we have covered order of operations and the distributive property.
Explore: Solving Equations Key (pdf)
Flip: Solving Equations (MP4)
Apply: Solving 1-step Linear Equations (PDF)
Comments: This activity should take about 15-20 mins. I am going to try to have them take a picture of their setups (and steps) with their phone. I am not exactly sure where the best place for them to upload them is. Perhaps the discussion board within our LMS (MyMathLab) is a good place. I hope this activity lays some of the groundwork for solving multi-step equations, which we do the following lesson.