5 Ways to Teach Multi-Step Equations

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love teaching multi-step equations in 8th grade math!

My teacher brain thinks — wow, students can finally combine all math concepts - like combining like terms, distributive property, and inverse operations! But the reality is that many of my students struggle with solving multi-step equations.

Some students would apply the inverse operations on the same side of the equations, while others would forget to move the variables to one side before trying to solve for x.

How do you help students with these mistakes in solving multi-step equations?

In this blog post, I will share the 5 best activities to teach multi-step equations that will help clarify these misconceptions.

One of them is even a freebie! Let's jump right in, shall we?

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1. Multi-Step Equations Guided Notes

What is it?

If you're looking for a super easy, print-and-go resource for teaching solving multi-step equation solving, then you're in the right place!

These guided notes are such a fun way to teach multi-step equations.

They show students how to solve multi-step equations with variables on one or both sides, and they're packed with tons of helpful visuals, step-by-step instructions, practice activities, and even real-life applications! Plus, there's a fun color-by-number activity, a cool maze, and a section that shows you how to use multi-step equations in real-world situations. It's all in there - and it's all super easy to use!

Why do I love this?

I love these notes because they are visual, filled with doodles and colors that make note-taking fun! I love their sections for introducing the lesson, practice, and real-life applications.

They can be used as graphic organizers, scaffolded notes, and interactive notebooks for CCSS 8.EE.C.7 and CCSS 8.EE.C.7b. These lessons also have an artsy feel to them, which makes it fun for students who love color by number, color by code, or sketch notes.

2. Multi-Step Equations Digital Pixel Art for Google Sheets

What is it?

If you’re looking for a fun and interactive way to help your students practice solving multi-step equations, you’ve got to try this digital pixel art activity!

Digital pixel art in Google Sheets is one of my all-time favorites in my classroom.

It's a no-prep activity that's super easy to use. Students get immediate feedback when they enter their answers into the boxes. When they get it right, the pixels turn green and they unlock more of the mystery image, which is a cute latte and a Halloween-themed cat.

There are two levels to choose from with a total of 24 questions. Level 1 is for equations with integer solutions only, while level 2 involves equations with both integer and decimal solutions.

You can assign both levels to the class or split them up as per your preference. It's a great

Why do I love this?

I love these digital pixel art activities because they're not just self-checking but incredibly fun and engaging for my students. While they work on unlocking pixels with every correct answer, I'm able to move around and help those who need it, and fast finishers can move onto the next part, which is such a relief!

The best part? These sheets make math come alive and reinforce key concepts in a way that's visually stunning.

3. Multi-Step Equations PDF Worksheets

What is this?

These artistic PDF worksheets are a great way to help your students practice solving different types of equations.

Each time your students answer a question correctly, they'll get to unlock a mystery doodle pattern that they can use to complete an image using the colors of their choice. It's a great way to keep your students engaged and motivated, and the finished images make for cool classroom decorations.

They're a fun and unique twist on classic color by number activities.

There are three levels to choose from, so you can easily differentiate based on your students' needs. Level 1 involves one-step equations. Level 2 involves two-step equations. Level 3 involves multi-step equations.

Oh, and did I mention that the image is fall-themed? Think back-to-school, Halloween, and Thanksgiving vibes.

Why do I love this?

Doodling + Math = Fun! This activity is a total game-changer when it comes to getting students excited.

Check out what one teacher had to say about Doodle Math:

"This was tricky for my super smart students! I absolutely loved it and so did they! They had a blast doodling the drawing and competing to be 'the best doodler'. The students were totally into the math, but also got to show off their creativity." - Kay Y.

These printable worksheets require zero prep time, so they're perfect for those days when you need an emergency sub plan or an activity for math centers, independent practice, review, lessons, homework, or bulletin boards.

4. Linear Equations Digital Pixel Art for Google Sheets

What is this?

This is another digital pixel art resource for Google Sheets, and mainly focuses on solving linear equations that have one solution, no solution, or infinite solutions.

Oh, did I mention that this resource is totally free?

Want this freebie to be sent to your email immediately? Click here.

It contains two pixel art Google Sheets with 18 questions total. Level 1 involves categorizing equations to one solution, no solution or infinitely many solutions. Level 2 involves solving equations with one solution only. Students will need to combine like terms and use distributive property.

Why do I love this?

Like the multi-step equations digital pixel-art I mentioned earlier, these activities are no-prep and totally self-checking, with easy differentiation.

5. Multi-Step Equations Blooket

What is this?

Blooket is a trivia and review game. A teacher, known as the host, picks a question set and a unique game mode. Then, students will answer questions to help them win. Here is a Blooket practice set for multi-step equations or you can search or create your own.

Why do I love this?

I love the variety of game modes. Some periods benefit from playing the game in groups (called Blook Rush) while other class periods enjoy one of the different independent game modes like Cafe, Factory, etc.

Save Money on Multi-Step Equations Activities

Well, well, well! This is the ultimate list of 5 activities your students will LOVE when it comes to solving multi-step equations. I hope you found at least one activity useful!

P.S. For the best deal, grab the top 3 activities together. Click here.

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Hi, I'm Ping!

I spent 7 years in the classroom working to make math fun and relevant in middle school, by integrating math, art, and technology. I started Congruent Math to share this all with you.

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