Creating Linear Equations in One Variable

This Creating Linear Equations in One Variable presentation also includes:

The example of two travelers meeting somewhere along the road has been a stereotypical joke about algebra as long as algebra has existed. Here in this detailed presentation, this old trope gets a careful and approachable treatment. Learners are guided through strategies for converting word problems to one-variable linear equations, and then led through working two examples. Special emphasis is put on the reasonableness of units and solutions, making this lesson a great fit for a curriculum with an engineering focus.

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CCSS: Adaptable
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Instructional Ideas
  • Provide a link to the presentation on the class website for pre-class viewing in a flipped classroom model or for on-demand remediation during homework in a traditional setting
  • Work with a shop class to develop a working model to go with the second example, then test the solution
  • Young algebrists can re-create the scenario in the first example using distances in their own lives: relative's homes, vacation destinations, potential college or military locations
Classroom Considerations
  • Viewing the PowerPoint lesson requires the ability to access a *.pptx file
  • Accessing the online interactive applets requires Internet access and an updated Java player
  • Learners unfamiliar with the distance, rate, and time relationship might need extra help developing the formula in the first example
  • The key realization that the two travelers must travel the same time in the first example might require explicit explanation
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Detailed notes with common mistakes identified
  • Attack strategies written out and then demonstrated
  • Linked applet with pre-filled information for quick use and manipulation
  • Problems use real-life examples and quantities
  • Highlight on reasonableness of solutions and units
  • Coefficients and constants defined as only rational numbers
  • Bottom sentence of slide 3 should read "...and a ratio is a rate that compares different kinds of units."
  • Shaky treatment of significant figures on slides 4 and 16
  • Examples numbered 3 and 5 instead of 1 and 2
  • No independent practice or homework problems provided