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Lesson plan

Solving Different Types of Two-step Equations Lesson Plan


In this lesson, we’ll introduce a special form of two-step equations that is solved differently than a normal two step equation. We’ll specifically call out the similarities and differences so students can recognize why certain equations need to be solved differently than others. We’ll finish off the lesson with a partner activity! You can expect this lesson to take one `45`-minute class period.

Grade 8
Solving Equations
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Students will be able to solve special cases of two-step equations.


  • Teacher slideshow
  • Partner activity
  • Online practice

How to Teach Finding Missing Values in a Two-way Table

Number Sense Routine

Start the students off with a number sense routine! I usually have my students all stand up for this. Display the slide below on your board:

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Copy these Google Slides for free

Give students a few minutes to think about possible answers. I have my students put a fist over their heart and put up a finger for each answer they find. This allows the whole class to think of responses without the pressure of seeing hands starting to raise! After a few minutes, start having students share their responses with the class. Students may have all sorts of responses ranging from the equations being in different colors to them both using the same variable and numbers. 

Class discussion

After students have shared, we want to ask some more targeted questions. Here’s what you’ll want to bring up:

  • Start with the purple equation on the left. Ask students what is happening to the variable on the left side, and in what order. 
    • `x` is being divided by `3`, then `4` is being added to that quotient. 
  • Now for the blue equation on the right. Ask the same question.
    • `4` is added to `x` first, then the sum is divided by `3`.

Explain to students that we solve for a variable in the reverse order of the operations that are being done to that variable. So in the equation on the left, we need to cancel the `4` first, then the `3`. But in the equation on the right, we cancel the `3` first, then the `4`. 

Solve the equations

Solve both equations on the board with the class to recognize how they are solved differently. Students will already be familiar with how to solve the equation on the left, the key is the difference between that and the equation on the right.

More examples

The slideshow contains a few more example problems to do as a class. 

Partner Activity

For this activity, students will work in pairs. Each partner will have a different set of problems, but, if solved correctly, they should get the same answer. Encourage students to check each other's work and to work together if they don’t get the same answer!

Different forms of Two-Step Equations Practice

After you’ve completed the examples with the whole class, it’s time for some independent practice! ByteLearn gives you access to tons of two step equations activities. Check out the online practice and assign to your students for additional classwork and/or homework!

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Different forms of Two-Step Equations Practice
Problem 1 of 5
<p>Solve the equation for x:</p><p>`(x - 17)/13 = 2`</p><i><p style="color:#666">Write your answer as an integer, simplified fraction, or exact decimal.</i> </p>

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