One-Step Equations Activities & Games

Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

Teaching students how to solve one-step equations is an essential skill necessary for solving more advanced mathematical calculations. Use these activities and games to help students understand how to solve one-step equations.

The Importance of Solving Equations

At some point in their lives, most students will probably need to write and solve a real-life equation. These equations could involve calculating interest earned for a savings account, figuring out unknown measurements for construction materials, or knowing the distance left to travel on a road trip. Equations help us to organize what we know and what we still need to figure out about a mathematical situation. When students understand how to write and solve one-step equations, they have the foundational skills needed to solve more complicated mathematical equations.

Let's look at some activities and games to help students explore one-step equations.

Equation Songs

Have students create songs to help them remember how to solve one-step equations.

Teacher Directions

1. Discuss the process students should use to solve one-step equations and walk them through several examples.
2. Have each group create a song to help them remember how to solve one-step equations. Encourage students to think about the different types of equations they might encounter, such as those involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
3. Suggest that students consider using a familiar tune for their song. For example, students could create a song to the tune of ''London Bridge is Falling Down'' such as: ''Find the variable, isolate it, isolate it, isolate it / Find the variable and isolate it / By doing the inverse operation.''
4. When the groups have finished, have them present their songs to the class.

Discussion Questions

• What do you think is the most difficult part of solving one-step equations?
• Can you think of a real-world situation where you would need to use an equation?

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