This 7-slide powerpoint presentation is designed as for use in an Algebra I classroom as an introduction to solving literal equations (solving for a specific variable when multiple variables appear).
Slides 2 and 4 are used as whole-class examples where the new equations are solved side-by-side with more familiar equations that involve only one variable. The teacher can work back-and-forth between the two problems using the familiar to inform what should be done next in the new. This also gives the teacher the opportunity to discuss the similarities and differences between the two problems. Slide 2's example is a two-step equation while slide 4's example involves the variable being solved for on both sides of the equation.
Slides 3 and 5 are designed as problems for students to try on their own or with a partner to make sure they are understanding.
Slides 6 and 7 include a final example of a literal equation involving one side that is a fraction and a problem for students to try on their own. I have found it unnecessary to turn slide 6 into a side-by-side example, but it could be easily done in this editable file.
Prior to teaching this lesson, students will need to know how to solve two-step and variables on both sides equations. Also, while teaching the distributive property, I address basic factoring. We discuss how combining like terms can be viewed as factoring out the common variable and then adding the remaining numbers. (ie. 7x + 2x = (7 + 2)x = 9x. This conversation makes it easier for students when they must factor problems like 7x + xy = (7 + y)x in slide 4 of the notes.
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