Review Lesson for 7.EE.B.4.a – Writing and Solving Equations in 7th Grade

I created this review lesson specifically to prepare students for the mid-unit assessment from Open Up Resources Unit 6: Expressions and Equations. You can access the free curriculum here.

A bit of background on the lesson structure:

We use standards-based grading and I created 2 learning targets and rubrics for 7.EE.B.4a using this rationale:

Level 2: What are students typically able to understand and do first when they begin working on this standard? In this case, it is solving equations in the form px + q = r and p (x + q) = r, but restricted to positive numbers.

Level 3: Aims to hit the expectations of the standard.

Level 4: Goes “above and beyond” the standard in some way. In this case, by applying the standard to equations that show relationships between two variables – building on students’ work with proportional relationships – and asking students to engage in a math practice standard: construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

I grade each of these learning targets separately:

The review lesson gives students opportunities to practice both skills.

Warm Up:

The lesson starts with an engaging warm up puzzle that I found on the site several years ago…I haven’t been able to track down the actual link. I recommend printing copies of the image for kids to write on to help them record their thinking.

Next I share the first learning target with students and remind them of the difference between the levels. I think being explicit is really helpful for students, particularly for a concrete skill like solving equations.

Activity 1: Equation Flashcards: Building fluency with solving equations

Students choose which level they want to work on. They pick a random card, work it out on this recording sheet, and then check their answer on the back. Lastly, they record how the problem went by circling the applicable symbol. Kids tend to love the immediate feedback flashcards provide. (Mini-whiteboards would work really well too, instead of the worksheet!)

Key Tip: Print on cardstock or colored paper, otherwise the cards will be see-through.

Activity 2: Problem-Solving: Creating equations to represent and solve word problems

After discussing this example with the class, kids complete this worksheet to get practice writing and solving equations and, explaining the meaning of the solution. Afterwards, kids are challenged to create their own word problems that match a given equation.

Lesson Synthesis:

On practice days like this, I love giving kids the opportunity to reflect on any tips they have for their classmates! I encourage them to think about common mistakes to look out for or things they want to be sure to remember. I record their ideas on the board, which is often great fodder for an anchor chart.

Here are the slides for the complete lesson.

Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Always happy to hear from readers!