After factoring polynomials, my Algebra 1 students finally moved onto solving equations. Again, I approached this unit in an entirely different way this year than last year. I will post more specifics about the Do/Undo Method that I taught my students later, but I did want to get pictures of these pages posted now. If you have any questions at all, send me a message or leave a comment. And, I will do my best to write up a blog post with more details.
You'll notice that I love printing my foldables on colored paper. I think that notes taken on colored paper are just more memorable than notes taken on plain, white copy paper. My students often remember which page in their notebooks they need to reference by what color the foldable was printed on. The paper I use the most is
Fireworx brand colored paper. It's available from Amazon, comes in loads of colors, and is priced very reasonably.
Astrobrights paper makes for the prettiest, brightest foldables, but it's a bit more pricey. So, I save it for printing posters.
Here we go!

Algebra 1  Unit 3 Writing and Solving Equations Table of Contents 

Equation Frayer Model 

Inverse Operations Graphic Organizer 
The notes at the bottom were my attempt at helping my students who were having trouble determining if a number was being added, subtracted, or multiplied in an equation. I don't know if it helped or not.

Do / Undo Method for Solving Equations Foldable 

Inside of Do/Undo Method for Solving Equations Foldable 
The next two pages (on solving equations with variables on both sides of the equal sign) were stolen from
Sarah at Everybody is a Genius. I did exactly as she said to. I passed out these 6 balanced scale problems to my students. It was shortly after Halloween, so I still had leftover trick or treat candy. I promised candy to the first student who could figure out all six problems. Instant engagement. That instant engagement was, of course, followed by instant frustration.
Finally, I agreed to go over the answers with my students. We discussed 1, 2, and then 4. Oh, my students were SO mad at me. I was loving every moment of this lesson! When I told them that I had lied to them at the beginning and told them all of the scales were balanced, they were not happy. In fact, they decided that I should have to give them all candy since I lied to them. That was my plan all along, of course.

Balanced Scale Problems 

Solving Equations with Variables on Both Sides of the Equal Sign  Outside of Foldable 

Solving Equations with Variables on Both Sides of the Equal Sign  Inside of Foldable 

I still had some students who were getting their steps out of order when trying to solve equations. After a quick google search, I happened upon this solving equations flowchart foldable. I was instantly in love! You can download a copy of the foldable
here from In Stillness the Dancing.
I referred to this as our flippy, flappy, foldy thing. I think this was one of our mostused foldables of the year so far. Our special education teacher loved it, too. I guess the reason why I love this so much is that it takes students step by step through the process of solving an equation. These are the same questions I would be asking a student if I was sitting by them and helping them. By giving all of my students this tool and modeling how it works, I am equipping my students to help themselves. (And, yes, my students remarked that I was WAY TOO happy about this foldable.)

Solving Equations Flowchart Foldable  Outside 

Solving Equations Flowchart Foldable  Yes Flaps 

Solving Equations Flowchart Foldable  No Flaps 
Files can be downloaded here with the exception of the flowchart foldable that can be downloaded here.
I wish I was as cool as you about putting up all my stuff! It's barely enough to keep up with creating things and passing them out to my kids! You are fabulous!
ReplyDeleteThanks! It's time consuming, but it's definitely worth it! I've gotten so much constructive feedback.
DeleteThis is fabulous! I especially love the flow chart!
ReplyDeleteI love it, too!
DeleteI just want to thank you so much!! You are super awesome!!
ReplyDeleteThank you!
DeleteCan I get a template for the flow chart?
ReplyDeleteThe flowchart foldable template can be downloaded from here: http://instillnessthedancing.wordpress.com/2012/09/30/solvingequationsfoldable/
DeleteExcellent Resources. thank you so much!
ReplyDeleteYou are very welcome!
DeleteI love your ideas! I am having trouble opening. Can you please send to me? I especially want the flowchart!!!!!! efree@farmcards.org
ReplyDeleteGreat ideas! I am going to share them with my colleagues. Thanks for taking the time to share. You are awesome!
ReplyDeleteThanks Linda!
DeleteHi Sarah!! Is there a template for your flowchart with equations. We are just beginning equations and I would love to give this as a resource!!
ReplyDeleteFlowchart can be downloaded here: http://instillnessthedancing.wordpress.com/2012/09/30/solvingequationsfoldable/
DeleteImpressive work! Thanks for posting the examples. This will be helpful in the midst of my algebra unit.
ReplyDeleteYou're very welcome!
DeleteHow do you make time for your notebook, I want to do one so badly, I believe it would help my students but I don't seem to have time. We are suppose to be teaching very quickly. I'm a first year teacher and any advice would be great.
ReplyDeleteFinding time for the notebook can definitely be a struggle. There are some units where I do a better job of this than others. What you can't see from my blog is the number of things that we do that just never make it into our notebooks. Students will want to go reference things later on, and I have to apologize because I ran out of time for us to make notebook pages for them. This is something I'm getting much better at with time. One day, I hope for notebooks to be a complete representation of everything my students learn over the course of a year. But, they definitely started as just a way to capture the highlights of the year.
DeleteMy advice would be to just start and see what happens. Then, next year fix what didn't work and try again. Repeat. Forever. :)
debensnorthrup@yahoo.com is my email. Could you please send chart to down load. Much thanks
ReplyDeleteI love your method of solving equations. However, if I have the equation of 1/(2x)=5 where you have to solve for x, how would you use this method then? I tried to figure it out, but couldn't. I would love to know how you would approach to this problem when given such problem. Thank you so much!
ReplyDeleteI would have students take the reciprocal of both sides of the equation first. This would put x in the numerator, and you should be able to proceed more easily from here. Hope this helps!
DeleteYou are amazing! Thank you for sharing so many of your ideas! Because of you I am going to try Interactive Notebooks with my Algebra 1 class next year! I can't wait!
ReplyDeleteThanks Amanda!!! You'll have to let me know how it goes. Maybe even blog about it... ;)
DeleteHi Sarah! When you get a chance, can you please send me these documents? For some reason I can't open them. I am teaching summer school this year and I'm using the notebooks. My kids LOVE them and say they're really helpful! Yay! My email is tamckeon1992@gmail.com
ReplyDeleteThank you!!!
Done :) Glad to hear you're having great success with the notebooks!
DeleteYou are so great! Looking at this site makes me excited to start the school year!
ReplyDeleteThanks!
DeleteI'd love to have the foldable for the solving equations flowchart! that looks like it is a great tool for the kiddos!
ReplyDeleteEmail me, and I'll forward the file!
DeleteWow, these are some amazing ideas!! Thank you! I can't wait to try them, I think it will be really helpful for my students.
ReplyDeleteYou'll have to let me know how it goes!
DeleteI am new to 8th grade math this year and am so glad to find your site. I am sure you will be a calming source through this first year! Thank you!!!
ReplyDeleteThanks, Rebecca!
DeleteLove these ideas! I teach both math 8 and algebra will be able to use in both classes.
ReplyDeleteThanks!
DeleteThank you so much, I have looked at your blog for a long time now and just today used my own variation of the Frayer and Inverse  you also inspired me to do my own little chart with expression vs equation as we transitioned chapters, thanks!!
ReplyDeleteAWESOME!
DeleteGreat foldable flow chart...Thank you for sharing Sarah!
ReplyDeleteIt's not actually mine. I do love it, though!
DeleteI love these charts and need to try something new for reteaching these topics because my students don't understand it. I would love these files! krrients@gmail.com Thank you for sharing these ideas!
ReplyDeleteEmail sent!
DeleteThank you so much! Is there anyway I can get the Do/Undo Method for Solving Equations Foldable:
ReplyDeleteemail: faidag01@gmail.com
File here: https://app.box.com/s/murauhnbxy3v0la6eyz2
DeleteI love love this for my 5th graders with the multiple operations. I have some who are so confused, this will help tremendously!
ReplyDeleteHope this helps!
DeleteThank you so much for sharing! Love the table of contents and have used it for every chapter(unit) this year. I also put one in the front of the Interactive Notebook as a table of contents for the entire Interactive notebook. Love the solving equations foldable. A colleague shared that at one of our math meetings. This is my first year with interactive notebooks and I absolutely love them. I read blogs,including yours, for about 1/2 of last year, and over the summer knowing I would be working with interactive notebooks this year. I have three preps and this can be done. It is challenging keeping up with this and making new pages. I just tell myself it will be easier next year because I will just be tweaking what I am doing now. One thing I suggest for those new to this is make as many pages as you can over the summer. I also use Pinterest and I categorized each of my pins by topic such as geometry, linear equations.... which helps now that the school year is rolling, makes it so much easier to find by topic in my own boards. Thanks again for sharing and blogging.
ReplyDeleteGreat advice!
DeleteThank you so much for sharing! We beginning teachers really appreciate it!!
ReplyDeleteYou're very welcome!
DeleteI have learned the do/undo method...but no examples cover problems like this:
ReplyDelete158(x6) / 4 = 2.25
The 158 confuses me in the chart
DeleteYou are a true inspiration! THANK you for all you do! I teach math 1 6th grade and often need to change things for their level, but the kids really love this book. Thank you again!
ReplyDeleteThank you for sharing your ideas. You are reenergizing me and inspiring me to try some newtome practices. Thank you!
ReplyDeleteYou're welcome! Thanks for reading my blog!
Delete