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Grade: Middle
Subject: Mathematics

#3052. Solving Equations using variables

Mathematics, level: Middle
Posted Sun Feb 8 11:00:50 PST 2004 by Whitney S. Scott (
Enloe High School, Raleigh, USA
Materials Required: 3 X 5 cards, paper, pencil
Activity Time: Vary
Concepts Taught: solving for variables

Before class, teacher makes up the 3 X 5 cards.
On the back of two cards, write the letter "A."
Do the same with "B" and "C" and so on until you have
enough for each student to get one card. The
purpose of this is so that each student will be
paired up with another student that has that
same letter. On one of the cards, write an equation
that your level can solve such as:
2x + 5 =
3x - 18 =
x + 5 =
On the corresponding card for that letter, write
a number from 20 to 100. Mix up the cards at
random, making sure that half the kids will get
an equation, and half the kids will get a number.
They are then to pair up with the person that has
the same letter on the back of their card. They
put them together and solve the equation. For example,
suppose one "A" had 5x + 3 =, and the other "A"
had 35, their equation would be 5x + 3 = 35.
They then solve for x.
Teacher then picks random students to present their
problems on the board.
If there is an odd number of students, just add another
"A" card and put a number on the back of it. Three
people would then be grouped as "A's". They would
then combine their numbers together. In other words,
using the above example, let's say you add another
"A" card and write -24 on it. Then the three "A" cards
would make: 5x+3 = 35-24.