Sunday, 20 December 2015

Solving Equations Balance Method Card Sort

This is a simple activity where students are given a set of cards that represent the steps to take the given equation and use the balance method to solve it. The equations are relatively simple with most being two step solutions. This is not meant to be a big activity but just a warm up or perhaps something to do in the middle of class to break it up. There are 9 equations that can be solved so you could put students in groups or make multiple sets and have them work on them individually
  • Gr8PA - solve and verify linear equations involving a one-variable term and having solutions that are integers, by using inspection, guess and check, and a “balance” model
  • MPM1D, MFM1P - solve first-degree equations, including equations with fractional coefficients, using a variety of tools (e.g., computer algebra systems, paper and pencil) and strategies (e.g., the balance analogy, algebraic strategies)

  • There are 9 sets of cards to print out and cut. We suggest printing on card stock and laminating. To help, each card will have it's set number just in case you mix up the cards. If you wish to use this with individual students rather than in groups you will need to print out more than one full set.
  • NOTE - there are two versions. One with the traditional adding and subtracting of terms on the same line and the other with the adding and subtracting of terms done below. Obviously choose the version you prefer. The equations are the same in both
  • We suggest putting each set in it's own envelop or zip-lock bag. 

  1. Randomly distribute the envelopes to groups (or individual students). 
  2. Have students use all the cards to show the steps to solve their question
  3. Students should check their answer on paper or portable whiteboard
  4. Once all groups (students) have correctly sorted their cards, they can exchange their set with the next group (since the sets are numbered they can just get the next numbered set - if they have set 1 then pass it to the group with set 2 etc). 
  5. This could be done 9 times or stopped when ever you wish.

  • Solving Equations Card Sort Horizontal (pdf, doc)
  • Solving Equations Card Sort Vertical (pdf, doc)

Did you use this activity? Do you have a way to make it better? If so tell us in the comment section. Thanks

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