Lesson 6

Strategic Solving

Lesson Narrative

In previous lessons students have started to acquire fluency with a general method of solving equations, and have seen that different solution paths are possible. In this lesson students learn to stop and think ahead strategically before plunging into a solution method. After a warm-up in which they construct their own equation to solve a problem, they look at equations with different structures and decide whether the solution will be positive, negative, or zero, without solving the equation. They judge which equations are likely to be easy to solve and which are likely to be difficult. 

When students look for features of an equation that will tell them something about the solution or help them choose a solution path, they engage in MP7.

Learning Goals

Teacher Facing

  • Categorize (orally and in writing) linear equations in one variable based on their structure, and solve equations from each category.
  • Describe (orally and in writing) features of linear equations that have one solution, no solution, or many solutions.
  • Describe (orally) strategies for solving linear equations in one variable with different features or structures.

Student Facing

Let's solve linear equations like a boss.

Learning Targets

Student Facing

  • I can solve linear equations in one variable.

CCSS Standards


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