This product was created to help my students better visualize the steps that are used while solving 2-step equations and to better understand why these steps are justified.
The product includes two worksheets. Instead of starting with a two-step equation like it would normally be written, these problems start with asking the student to draw a specific number of pawns (x) and pennies (1 each) on the left hand side of the equals sign and a specific number of pawns and pennies on the right hand side.
I modeled solving some problems with the students so that they understood what each question meant. Optionally, manipulatives representing the pawns and the pennies may be used on an equation mat to help the students understand the procedure even better. I found foam sheets cut into triangles for the pawn and squares for the pennies worked better than cardstock. Little pieces of cardstock are difficult to pick up.
After writing the equation on the worksheet, the student is then asked about what can be removed equally from both sides of the equation. The questions continue until the student writes the equation in terms of "x" and numbers, and finally reaches an answer.
My students improved their understanding tremendously after these problems were completed.
Answers are included for one of the worksheets.
This product was created by Susan M. Walker.