New Resource : Solving Two Step Equations

Download the PowerPoint and worksheet here.

I have, again, tried to avoid inspection by using slightly annoying numbers. I would suggest that calculators are a must for this resource.

I also added the following page, which I really like.

Hopefully questions 9 and 10 provoke a good discussion. I love a bit of direct instruction, but I also love a bit of debate and discussion. I think there’s a little misconception that direct instruction is just dull lecturing. As with anything, it’s about the mix and variety.

I’m still thinking of a good way to share these. In the summer term, when I have more free time, I’m going to a proper evaluation of what I have that is good enough to show people, and how I can present stuff so that it’s useful and findable. There isn’t any current reason for this stuff to all be consigned to this site, I think it would be better to bring disparate resources together.

Things I Think I Think … 2
  1. I love it when a student goes away and voluntarily does extra work because the task is so fun. This week I did a bit of Artful Maths’ Impossible Objects. Wonderful lesson and I got some great results. More than that, I got some really, really enthused students.
  2. I’ve been using my iPad a lot recently. I really like it, but it’s made me think about my board work. I have a few colleagues who make beautiful board notes using colour and shape. I’ve never got there and I really would like to. I really would love to invest my time in this in the future. See the Tweet from Ed Southall at the bottom of this post. It’s gorgeous.
  3. We’ve been using Times Tables Rockstars a bit for our younger learners and it’s really nice. But it also made me think that the issue is not our lack of resources, but the abundance of them. It’s rather like Netflix. All of this content and I spend ages scrolling the menu deciding what I want to watch. It’s why I think Resourceaholic is so good. It’s just good stuff, well curated.
    I was saddened to see Jo is having a tough time at the moment. If you haven’t already, you should buy her book, It’s fascinating and a really good exploration of different methods. I think it’s really worth knowing these, and there’s great discussions to be had with classes as to which methods are better and why. She also has a buy me coffee page.
  4. I was talking to my tutor group about social media the other day. We were talking about the Pavlov’s Dog ping of pleasure if you get a like or something. I’m real susceptible to this. I posted my perimeter lesson, and it got a ton of likes, but my last One Step Equation lessons got not likes or retweets. Got no idea why.
  5. I couldn’t think of 5 things, but I wanted to get into the habit of blogging more regularly.
Solving One Step Equations

Download the PowerPoint | Download the worksheet

Another attempt to take lessons that were a bit rubbish and update them, with a focus on good questions.

I’ve taken what I think is quite a brave choice to use decimals extensively throughout. There is a reason for that, and that is thinking about the skill that I want students to understand. The skill here is rearranging to solve. Using ‘nice’ numbers can lead students to solving by inspection. Great! They get the answer, but they often are not using the very skill I’m trying to teach.

Hopefully by using more ‘difficult’ numbers (with the aid of a calculator), students will do the thing that I want them to do.

Maybe not.

I tried to cover every possible type of question, but if I’ve missed one, let me know. I haven’t bothered with worded questions at all. I think maybe that’s a separate thing altogether, but it could go here.

I think I haven’t spent enough time doing this before and I’ve tired to be really in depth. As always, feedback is welcome.


Download the PowerPoint here | Download the worksheet here (not technically needed, just the PPT questions in a printer friendly format) | Download the plotting and measuring worksheet.

One of the best MathsConf sessions I’ve been to, and one that I come back to again and again is Jo Morgan’s Indices in Depth (Watch a recorded version here). It really stuck with me because of something she said.

I’m paraphrasing, but Jo said that she used to cover all of the index laws in one lesson, but she now realises how that wasn’t good.

When I watched that presentation, I was also covering index laws in one lesson. By doing that we rob ourselves of the opportunity to develop mathematical thinking. We rob ourselves of doing interesting questions or delving into specifics and really covering things in the detail and sophistication that we should.

Anyway, I normally cover perimeter in one lesson. Add up the sides!

But it in trying to make some better slides I realised how much you can do with it. Change of units! Being explicit about what the different marks on the lines mean?

Mysterious marks

So this is an attempt to address all of that.

There’s example problem pairs and exercises for:

  • Regular perimeter, including the notation
  • Finding a side, given the perimeter
  • Finding missing sides and compound shapes
  • Measuring the perimeter (by plotting coordinates and using a ruler to measure the perimeter)
  • Using different units
  • Some algebraic stuff.
I stole this idea from Heylings.

also a lovely discussion picture

You could probably easily do 3 lessons on this. Using perimeter to build mathematical thinking, rather than just teaching the content. The content is a conduit.

One of the best ways to do this is I’ve seen is Mr Draper’s lessons here. I’d highly recommend you checking that out. Especially these questions, which I think are gorgeous.

Absolutely gorgeous.

So that’s a good 5 lessons you could probably do with perimeter, not including the old area/perimeter investigation when you try and keep one constant and change the other.

One lesson I’d been using. Think of all the lost opportunity.