Solving Equations with Variables on Both Sides of the Equation: Algebra Lesson Plan

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Prior Knowledge: So far your students have learned how to write equations, translate sentences into equations and equations into sentences, solve one-step equations using addition and subtraction, solve simple equations using multiplication or division and solve multi-step equations. Now they will learn to solve equations with variables on both sides of the equation.

Common Core State Standards

A.REI.1: Explain each step in solving a simple equation as following from the equality of numbers asserted at the previous step, starting from the assumption that the original equation has a solution. Construct a viable argument to justify a solution method.

A.REI.3: Solve linear equations and inequalities in one variable, including equations with coefficients represented by letters.

Mathematical Practice(s):

1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.

5 Use appropriate tools strategically.

Learning Target(s)

  • I can apply order of operations and inverse operations to solve equations
  • I can construct an argument to justify my solution process

Essential Question(s)

What is the difference in solving a regular equation and an equation with variables on both sides?

Vocabulary: inverse operation, isolate, variable, constant, reciprocal, coefficient



  • Instruct that minus and negative are equivalent
  • GOAL: to isolated the specified variable
  • Instruct that what is done on one side of the equation (= sign), must be done on the other side of the = sign.

Go to Algebra 1 Online:

Click on Modules

Scroll down to Solving Equations-Lesson 4

You now have access to Warm-ups, notes, lesson presentations, interactive activities, videos, journal questions, quizzes and homework. You can use the classwork problems in the Lesson section can be used and Guided and Independent practice.

* Reminder for students: that –x is the same as -1x & x is the same as 1x.

Guided Practice: 3-6 practice problems. You can do 1or 2 problems with the students at the board (Smart Board, Elmo, etc.) and then put them in small groups of no more than 3 to do the rest. These problems can be pulled from any textbook or other resource.

Independent Practice: Approximately 5 problems to be done alone.

Closure/Review: Quick class discussion on what was learned today. You can ask leading questions but let the students come up with what they learned today.

Exit Ticket: This is to be done the last 3-5 minutes of class and given to you (by hand or in a designated area of your room) as they leave class. Possible question(s): Pick one or two problems from the homework for the students to do before they leave. Hopefully they will realize when doing their homework, that they already did some of the problems.

  • Note: Algebra 1 Online has great resources under the Resources tab. For this lesson, under Resources, under Quizzes, click on TopicquizsolvLine, and you have 5 question quizzes (with the answer keys) for the series of lessons on solving equations.

This post is part of the series: Beginner Algebra

Make algebra easier for your students with these introductory lesson plans.

  1. Lesson Plan: Solving One-Step Equations using Addition or Subtraction
  2. Lesson Plan: Solving One-Step Equations using Multiplication or Division
  3. High School Math Lesson Plan: Solving Multi-Step Equations
  4. Lesson Plan: Solving Equations with Variables on Both Sides of the Equation
  5. Algebra Lesson Plan: Solving Absolute Value Equations