Days 93-95: revisiting one step equations

In my previous post, Monday, I noted the results of a formative assessment on one step equations (adding and subtracting) and shared how I differentiated for the students. I’m sorry to report that for my A day class (the class with the widest disparity) the same students who struggle continue to be baffled. It’s clear these students lack conceptual understanding.  For many, I wonder if a contributing factor is inattention. It seems to be getting in the way of moving concepts into long term memory. When they are focused, they dwell on procedure without regards to whether their process and answer make mathematical sense.

Here, one student combines like terms, then combines unlike terms, then maybe divides by 10? However the work from that point on is unclear.

one step

I thought I had been breaking down the lessons into manageable parts, but something’s amiss.

I’m hoping my other standard class will have a better conceptual understanding.


Day 92: differentiating after one-step formative assessment

Students in my “A” day standard class have MAP scores ranging from the 15th to 90th percentile. My “B” class has a narrower distribution. After reviewing the formative assessment on adding and subtracting one step equations, I wasn’t surprised to discover that I need to address the concepts again in the following way:


After I returned the assessments I sent the 6 enrichment students out in the hall to work on a set of problems from our pre-algebra series. The rest of the class stayed with me for another mini-lesson. I chose to begin with the distributive property because all of those students needed to see it again. Plus, those who already got one-step shouldn’t have to sit in on another one step mini-lesson. After reviewing the distributive property, those six students received additional practice problems I made using Kuta software. They stayed in the classroom and periodically checked their answers against some keys I had posted in the room. As they finished they worked on the enrichment.

The final 10 were with me as I once again walked through adding and subtracting one-step equations. I got them going on their one step worksheets (again Kuta software generated) and had keys posted for them as well.  As they finished, they moved on to practicing the distributive property.

This took about 40 minutes. Four of the 10 students who had the most remediation came to see me in math lab today. The rest is homework.

The rest of the block was devoted to multiplying and dividing one step equations.

My “B” day standard class will experience the same lesson format tomorrow. Though fewer students will need remediation.