Teaching Systems of Equations

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Systems of equations can be challenging for students because they involve applying a variety of problem-solving skills and strategies at once. This lesson gives you some ideas for teaching systems of equations to your students.

What are Systems of Equations?

A system of equation is a set of two or more equations that involve the same set of unknown variables. For example, a system of equations might include the following three equations: 3x+2y=26, 9x-2y=22, and 6x+3y=45. A student would be asked to solve for x and y so that the answer worked properly in all three of the equations. In the case above, x=4 and y=7. If the variables in each of the problems above get substituted for the proper integer, the answers will come out exactly as the equations state they will.

Teaching systems of equations can be complex because students need to apply a variety of different problem-solving skills and strategies at once. They need to learn how to apply mathematics to visual and real-life contexts in order to effectively solve these systems, and they need organizational strategies that help them keep track of a lot of information at once. This lesson gives you some ideas of how you might teach students to solve and work with systems of equations.

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