Solving equations can be super frustrating for students. They'll try combining terms over the = sign, get confused with the order of the steps or not even know how to get started at all.

I made this solving equations flowchart while teaching mainstream 11th grade Algebra 2 in Boston. Even in 11th grade some of my students were still struggling.

They'd keep making the same mistakes when solving equations and were getting really down about it. I needed to give them something that not only helped with equation solving but also with their self-esteem.

solving equations flowchart |

Instead of like terms, this flowchart first focuses on the

**+**and

**-**signs, which are visually much easier to find. From there, a series of questions guides students through the equation solving process, depending on which side of the = sign has variables.

Even though this tool was originally meant for intervention, it has become the way I teach and re-teach equation solving because of how quickly it catches, even with my most struggling learners.

Once my students can independently solve equations, their attitudes towards algebra start to improve. There's nothing better than witnessing a kid's confidence grow as he or she gets stronger in math!

To keep that confidence going, I have a bunch of fun activities for solving equations in my tpt store. The one above is a 2-step solving equations pennant that is free by subscribing here. Students hang their finished work as math-themed classroom décor.

This 2-step equations partner scavenger hunt gets students collaborating as they work on their own unique problems. Even though their problems are different, their answers are the same, which gives incentive for students to work together when stuck.

## 5 comments:

I absolutely love your ideas! Even a middle school student needs activities that they can color and display proudly! Thank you for making my job easier!

Yes, I agree! Even high schoolers like to color! I hope you have the best year!

I used the pennant activity above last year, and the kids LOVED it, (7th grade) they even wanted the harder 2 step equations !

Oh yay! That is great to hear! I do have a couple multi-step math pennants in my tpt store. One involves distribution and the other does not include this step. I hope you are having a great year! Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to comment. It means a lot!

Thank you! Loved the idea of just using index cards. :)

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