Back to basics

25th April 2014 at 01:00
If your students are in a bother over balancing and don't know their 2a + 3 = 7 from their 5y - 4 = 41, don't worry. These resources will soon get them solving equations with aplomb

1. Number crunching

What is it? A crossnumber worksheet - a crossword with numbers - that can be adapted for different ability levels and types of equation

What users say "Superb. Great for demonstrating higher-order skills."

2. Equation creation

What is it? Activities that help students to generate and solve their own equations

What users say "This is an excellent resource that leads students on to solving equations with real understanding. It explains the approach very carefully."

3. Checks and balances

What is it? A worksheet that introduces the topic of balancing equations. Aimed at 11- to 12-year-olds

What users say "Fantastic. It really does simplify the problem well and will lead on to more complicated problems."

4. Scaled up

What is it? A spreadsheet that helps students to solve equations using the analogy of a set of scales

What users say "A great resource to break each question into easy steps. The students understood the concept thoroughly."

5. Unknown quantities

What is it? A presentation on how to solve equations with unknowns on both sides

What users say "I wish I'd had this earlier. I will use it to check understanding of solving equations with my top set."

6. Brilliant brackets

What is it? Questions of increasing difficulty on solving linear equations with brackets. Get students to play the "last man standing" game

What users say "Great resource that can be used for differentiating."

7. How old are you?

What is it? Cards that challenge students to calculate people's ages using simple linear and simultaneous equations

What users say "This is a brilliant group activity to use for revision and it really helps students to work on their problem-solving skills."

8. Fabulous fractions

What is it? An online quiz based on solving linear equations involving fractions and decimals

What users say "Fabulous. This is just the type of activity I was looking for."

9. Pluses and minuses

What is it? Questions on the addition and subtraction of algebraic fractions

What users say "An excellent resource to encourage students to revise independently."

10. Pause and reflect

What is it? A three-part lesson on solving algebraic fractions with embedded plenaries to evaluate learning

What users say "Very good and helpful resources."


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today