Through an Oath of Algebraic Equations
, unique and captivating guided notes (with Ned!
), and well-thought-through worksheets, this product ensures that a student’s first encounter with algebraic equations will be both fun and engaging.
There is no denying it … after their initial introduction to algebraic equations, students will use such equations for years to come as they make their way through the remainder of their mathematics courses. There is also no denying that their first encounter with algebraic equations will likely set the tone for their feelings about algebra in general
. It is essential, therefore, that this introduction be a valuable one, that the students emerge from this introduction with a feeling that algebraic equations are both fun and useful, that they see them as a potentially easier way to solve mathematical problems, and that they look forward to moving into more complicated equations as their study of algebra continues both this year and in future years.
Algebra With Ned – An Introduction to Solving One-Step Equations
attempts to achieve exactly these goals through a recurring four-step process completed in a 5 – 7 day unit:
1. The students are presented with equations that they cannot solve using mental math (in a warmup activity). The teacher then quickly solves these equations using algebra and thereby begins to show the value of the algebraic method.
2. The students then recite the Oath of Algebraic Equations
, which serves a dual purpose, as they enthusiastically pledge their allegiance to the algebraic process and are also introduced to the key terminology associated with algebraic equations (“inverse operation”, “in balance”, “isolate”, “solution” and more!).
3. In what is likely the most critical point of this unit on one-step equations, the students are then introduced to the algebraic method by Ned
. They initially observe Ned standing on one side of an old-fashioned balance scale with 12 pounds next to him and a large amount of weight on the other side of the scale. The teacher asks a series of questions regarding the scale, the fact that it is in balance, what we would need to do to keep the scale in balance if we removed the weights that are sitting on Ned’s side of the scale, etc. As this discussion proceeds, Ned is assigned the variable “n” and the situation is solved using an algebraic equation and by manipulating the weights simultaneously. The students take notes on the scale and the equation while the teacher ensures that all of the vocabulary words in the Oath of Algebraic Equations are addressed in the process. Students remain engaged as they help determine Ned’s weight and emerge with a keen understanding of the process to solve an algebraic equation that involves addition.
4. From here, students move to guided practice and then independent practice solving algebraic equations that involve addition through a well-thought-out worksheet that presents these problems in different formats.
The above process then repeats itself for each of the other operations used in algebraic equations, each involving a stimulating warmup that reviews previous concepts and moves students toward use of the next operation, a recitation of the Oath of Algebraic Equations, a discovery of how to solve these equations and properly use the terminology with Ned, and guided and independent practice via a worksheet. Students will continue to enjoy and expand their friendship with Ned as he attempts to solve his myriad of problems. He temporarily loses a leg (subtraction!
) and needs to add it back on while keeping the scale in balance. He develops a Ned clone (multiplication!
) and then wants to have some “me” time by pushing his clone off the scale (dividing the two Neds by two) while keeping it in balance. And he accidentally splits himself in two (division!
) and needs to attach his other half back to himself (multiplying the half-Ned by two) while keeping the scale in balance.
The final two days of the unit cement concepts learned by having the students practice solving equations with all four operations on the same worksheet, first in a worksheet that contains whole numbers only
, and then a more challenging worksheet involving fractions and decimals
. The warmups and worksheets for these final days also include detailed reviews of the vocabulary associated with solving equations and the word problems, in which the students need to both write
an appropriate equation and then solve
All of this adds up to a fun and meaningful way to begin to explore algebraic equations. If you would like your students to have an introduction to algebraic equations that they will talk about enthusiastically in the hallways, this is the product for you!
NOTE: If you would like your students to have a solid understanding of Algebraic Expressions
before attacking Algebraic Equations, please take a look at Express Yourself, the Complete Unit
, which is a comprehensive unit on Algebraic Expressions. Many teachers will choose to do the unit on Algebraic Expressions prior to tackling Equations with Ned
. Also, please be on the lookout for a follow-on product that explores two-step equations
, to be released shortly.
Good luck in your use of Equations with Ned! - An Introduction to One Step Equations
If you would like your students to obtain an even deeper understanding of the vocabulary related to algebraic equations, please see Equation Terminology Puzzles
, which introduces students to the language associated with algebraic equations through a review and two engaging puzzles.
Feel free to also check out a growing number of other products that use poetry, songs, games, worksheets, and assessments to make math fun and help students to learn a variety of common core math standards.
Click here to view Algebraic Equation Products
Click here to view Divisibility Rule Products
Click here to view Elementary to Middle School Transition Products
Click here to view Fraction Products
Click here to view Geometry Products
Click here to view Integer and Order of Operations Products
Click here to view Probability Products
Click here to view Ratio-Rate-Proportion Products
Click here to view Riddle Card Products that Help Retain Math Essentials
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