# Practicing equation solving at the level of the move

My 8th Grade students need a lot of practice with some of the basic moves of algebra. But I’m not finding practice resources that organize things along the lines that I feel they need.

A lot of the existing practice resources categorize equations in big amorphous clumps like “one-step” or “two-step” equations — but there is a whole world of variety between different types of “one-step” equations!

I think this is a confusing way of asking kids to practice equations. It groups equations based on how the equations look. It would be better to group practice along the lines of how you can think about them.

What I really want — what I think my students need — is practice that focuses on moves, and that includes chances to use those moves on situations that look very different from each other.

Here’s something I whipped up for class today. I haven’t tried it yet, but this is the sort of thing I’m thinking of: Questions:

• Do you think this is a useful way to organize practice (example/targeted practice/mixed)?
• Do you agree that this (adding to both sides) is a useful chunk of a skill to teach? (I know that, for my students, it is, because I’d found that kids very easily see opportunities to remove something from both sides but not to add.)
• What other moves in algebra do you think would be useful to practice in this way? (Next up for my students, I think, would be super-focusing on equations/inequalities that come down to Ax = B.)
1. bwfrank says: