Solving Equations

When I looked at the course outline for my S3 class and saw the next topic was solving equations and inequations, I was not excited.

Not because I hate the topic but this is my third year teaching this class and I have exhausted all my activities and games and know that the class are quite competent when solving linear equations.

Earlier in the year, the class learned about expanding double brackets so I decided to have them solve equations involving double brackets.

After a few lessons working through questions independently I began to spot that some pupils were having difficulties identifying where they had made an error in order to correct any mistakes.

So here is the lesson from today:

I put the class into groups – randomly numbering the class to have mixed groups. Each group were given an equation to solve. Once they all had a solution, papers were swopped and answers were checked.

If there were errors found the groups met up and discussed them and made any necessary corrections.

Here are some examples:

Most of the groups were very successful at going through each line of working and checking for errors. Most of the feedback was verbal – if I do this again I would encourage my pupils to give more written feedback.

There were a few errors that the pupils missed – after each set of questions I gave out the answers and then we discussed them as a class.

The whole class (apart from one) were engaged on the task for the whole lesson and seemed to enjoy it. Time will tell if this task has helped improve their ability to check their own work for errors. I hope so.

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