Clearly, the student’s work has more than one issue. But what issues doesn’t it have? What does the student clearly know that you could build on? What’s something that he clearly needs to work on, and how would you help?

  • It looks like he knows something about like terms and about equality, or balancing the equation. The first thing I’d want to know more about is what he understands about parentheses when included like this. What it means to have something next to the parentheses looks like one of his main struggles.

  • louise

    I am always puzzled when students give me two different (wrong) methods to solve, and they disagree with each other. Why do I have to pick? In this case, either the student does not understand that x is a banana, or does not understand that you multiply separately, nor that the equals sign has to stay there. This student needs to be re-led from the beginning.
    Grasping for a nice comment to a drowning student, s/he does know to get rid of the 4x on one side of the equals sign.