A blog about teaching and learning in a maths classroom.

Teaching Equations (or not)

Monday, 02 August 2010 | 1 Comment

It’s that time of year again… that’s right… Year 8 solving equations.

What’s more, this is the toughest Year 8 class I have taught, ever.

We did a quiz today, just to see how a topic that we completed a week ago had fared. For some, great, in fact better than I expected. But, on the other hand, there are others who did not solve b + 7 = 23.

I wandered back to my blog, where I wrote Teaching Equations:

My conclusion from looking at this task – when it comes to assessment, many of these students reverted to prior knowledge gained in primary school rather than a more formal process they’ve seen this year.

My problem this year, for some the prior knowledge required to solve a one-step equation didn’t really exist. The idea of an opposite operation or even reading the equation b + 7 = 23 in a simple way “what plus 7 will equal 23” was lacking.

Another little quiz next week, one-step’s only for the strugglers, trickier stuff for those that got it.

Flummoxed. Again.

Posted in • Lesson IdeaEquationsReflection | Short URL:


Meagan rodda on  03 August 10  at  11:42 AM #
Mr 6's teacher sent a homework sheet home asking them to add oranges and bananas. Explained she was making our life difficult when we try to teach them algebra and tell them they can't do it!!

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Simon Job — eleventh year of teaching maths in a public high school in Western Sydney, Australia.
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