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Big Ideas:
The variable in an equation represents a single value that makes the equality true.
The expressions or values on either side of the equal sign must be equal to each other.
The solution to an equation is achieved through inverse operations applied to both sides of the equality.
This lesson builds on students' prior work in writing and solving one-step equations in grade 6. In this lesson, students will write and solve multi-step equations to model a real life scenario. Students use equations to model a flower pot stacking context. Students will solve equations algebraically using inverse operations to reveal the value of the variable. Students will also represent their solutions visually in a tape diagram. The launch focuses students on how the variable is fixed in an equality and how it must make the equality true. The task supports and extends students’ understanding of the 7.EE.4a standards by engaging them in the essentials of writing and solving equations in the form px + q = r. The mathematical concepts in this lesson build towards students future work in writing and solving inequalities in 7.EE.4b and in grade 8 linear equations.
Vocabulary: equation, inverse operations, tape diagram
Special Materials:
Calculators (optional)