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Solving equations

Where did this kid go wrong? What does it reveal about his understanding of solving equations? What is your next step for him?

2 replies on “Solving equations”

Mark Betnelsays:

I’m not sure what to make of the work up next to the problem statement and the work below — was the upper one an abandoned method? Or preparation for the work below?

Both pieces show that the student knows how to get stuff from one side of the equation onto the other, but they don’t know or are sometimes confused by like vs. unlike terms.

I think I would emphasize the apple vs. orangeness of “x” and “3”, then back them up to PEMDAS, get them to volunteer that they should distribute the 2 first, then ask for the next step (which I think this student would be able to do).

Alexsays:

It seems like that student shows knowledge in the process of getting x to one side. However, the student is lacking the idea that 3+x is is not equal to 3x and that -4x-x isn’t -4. Doesn’t show understanding of distributive property. Definitely needs work with PEMDAS.