## Introduction to Solving Equations

I introduce solving equations by building off of the visual presentation used to introduce equations. The two photos below show an example of handouts I use. Below these two photos I offer an explanation of how I use these handouts.  First I develop an understanding of a balanced equation vis-a-vis an unbalance equation using the seesaw representation. I then explain that the same number of guys must be removed from both sides to keep the seesaw balanced. I then apply the subtraction shown above to show how the box (containing an unknown number of guys) is isolated. I explain that the isolated box represents a solution and that getting the box by itself is called solving. I use a scaffolded handout to flesh out the “mathy” steps. This would be followed by a regular worksheet. I extend the solving method using division when there are multiple boxes. I introduce the division by explaining how dividing a Snickers bar results in 2 equal parts. When the boxes are divided I explain both boxes have the same number of guys. The students are then provided a scaffolded handout followed by a regular worksheet. ## Videos Making Algebra Accessible

Below is a screen shot of a video in a series of videos that provide instruction on algebra topics. The videos are designed to make algebra more accessible for almost all students. The presentations include the following instructional strategies

• A focus on conceptual understanding (not just teaching steps)
• Connection to prior knowledge
• Breaking the math topics down into “bite-sized” pieces (chunking)
• Color coding
• Making the math relevant

The videos can be used in the following ways

• Differentiation for students who need an alternative presentation
• Initial instruction for students who missed instruction
• Initial instruction as part of a class, e.g. flipping a classroom
• For use when a substitute is covering a class
• Intervention based instruction
• Part of math support services (especially for special ed teachers who are not well versed in algebra topics)
• Homework support

The videos include a link to the handouts used in the presentation. Additional practice worksheets will be included as well.

NOTE: this is only a sample, with more samples to follow. Please share feedback or ask questions.