The Progression of Accurately Solving a Multi-step Equation

Tyler Willoughby, Math teacher, Ranson Middle School

(Abstract PDF)

(Unit PDF)           


This curriculum unit is designed to give students a more complete and comprehensive understanding up the steps involved in solving multi-step equations. Students often become disengaged from an activity if they do not fully understand how to solve it.

Multi-step equations can be difficult for some students and this can be completely avoided if they have a solid foundation and understanding of the concept of a balanced equation. To avoid any confusion they must start with a solid foundation on the process involved to solve a single-step equation. Once this is in place then the students can advance to the next level of a multi-step equation. Starting slow in the beginning and taking great care in making sure students have the proper understanding and comprehension of multi-step equations, will make for a more successful career in solving these complicated problems. This unit will start with the basics of solving a single-step equation and progress to a multi-step equation with variables on both sides. Students will be instructed to lay out a plan for solving the problems and identifying the following: the variable being isolated and the actions you will take to solve and check your solution.