A collection of resources to use to demonstrate and practise solving equations.

**Student Exercises**

I find Owen Elton’s worksheet, **Balancing Equations** on TES Resources very useful when introducing equations, the diagrams emphasise that we must do the same to both sides.

(See **Diagrams in Mathematics**, for more on the use of diagrams to help understanding).

Balancing Equations – Owen Elton

Linear Equations – Don Steward

As an alternative to the balance approach, consider this doing / undoing approach, **described here by Don Steward**, this is an approach I use for finding inverse functions. The exercises Don refers to are **here**.

A2 – Mostly Algebra

One of the **Standards Unit** resources, **A2 Creating and solving equations** (in Mostly Algebra) uses this approach, students create an equation and then undo it; this is a great exercise for demonstrating notation. Another resource with this approach comes from the **Mathematics Assessment Project** (the design and development was led by the MARS Shell Center team at the University of Nottingham) **Building and Solving Linear Equations** lesson

For a superb collection of ideas and student exercises for solving linear equations see all **Don Steward’s posts tagged linear equations**. Many of these outstanding resources use a very visual approach with very clear diagrams to help students’ understanding.

Diagnostic Questions

There are numerous questions on **linear equations on Diagnostic Questions**.

A simple way to check a solution to an equation of any type is to simply enter your equation as a **WolframAlpha query**. Note that WolframAlpha includes a graphical illustration; it is so important for students to understand how equations may be solved graphically; I always illustrate graphical solutions when we are working with Algebra to help students make these links. **Desmos** of course, is ideal here.

**Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching**

CIMT have tutorials on equations: **Linear Equations 1, Linear Equations 2, **and** Linear Equations with Brackets** in their **Interactive Resources**

The following three resources work well for demonstrating the balance method of solving linear equations.

**Duncan Keith’s Linear Equation Calculator** is available on STEM Learning.

Choose the type of equation you require then the sequence of operations required to solve the equation.

Select Do it after each operation, for example -32 Do it were the keys selected to start the above problem.

The slideshow below shows how to use the calculator to solve equations where the unknown is on both sides.

**Mathisfun**

Mathisfun

**Mathisfun** has this very clear and easy to use **interactive** illustrating the solution of linear equations.