From my experience teaching general education and special education students how to solve equations (1-, 2- and multi-step), one of the most challenging parts for students is having them write their steps in a clear and organized manner.
So I made this graphic organizer out of necessity and for these reasons:
1. As a way to scaffold students' notes and example problems. The graphic organizer prompts students to solve equations step-by-step, in a vertical manner.
2. To encourage students to check their answers. Each problem box has a section for students to check their answer – substitute the value they think is the answer and make sure it is a true math statement. This simple step is sometimes overlooked, but it is vital in having students review prerequisite skills (PEMDAS and evaluating expression) and in having them self-monitor their work.
Included in this download is a PDF version (great for just making copies for students to take notes or show their work) and the Microsoft Word version in which you can type in your own problems and actually create assignments, quizzes, and tests using the graphic organizer format.
This tried and true graphic organizer has helped all levels of math students – from general education classes to resource classes.