Solving 2-step Equations is an escalation in terms of task demand. Starting in elementary school, they are exposed to math sentences in which there is a single operation. Now they are asked to choose a number to eliminate. This post provides details about a scaffolded handout. It addresses the choice of number to eliminate and how one choice may provide the path of least resistance.

The Steps

Similar to the handout for solving 1-step equations, this scaffolded handout engages the students with the mental steps in addition to the steps they write out when they show their work. A key concept is identifying that there are two numbers to eliminate and then eliminating them, one at a time.

Choosing the Number

In lieu of teaching the method of doing PEMDAS or order of operations in reverse, I focus on presenting both the respective steps for eliminating either number in the expression with the variable. I believe it strengthens their understanding of the steps for solving and it shows them a reason to choose one route over the other – but they are free to choose! Here is a FB Reel and Youtube video addressing this.

Access to Handout

Here is the handout.

REVISED: Scaffolded Handouts for Solving

I previously posted scaffolded handouts for solving 1 step linear equations. I added a couple steps to create a new handout. In it I flesh out ALL of the steps, including identifying the inverse, the number to eliminate, simplifying the expressions to get the identity (0 or 1) and then simplifying again to eliminate the identity (see images below).