I often use the 3 Essential Rules of Math to review solving equations with my algebra students. I learned about these three essential rules from Glenn Waddell.

When I first started, I would have students write out the three rules.

Then, we would make note of when we used each rule while working through some solving equation examples.

This worked well, but I decided to type up the three essential rules of math as a foldable to reduce the amount of writing my kiddos had to do.

I was even able to include some examples on the inside of the foldable.

We did a few practice problems. I made them draw in the 1’s and 0’s that they made, but I guess I forgot to do it when I wrote out my own solutions in my notebook. Oops…

And, for the record, we did more than 3 practice problems. But, I only copied down three.

I can’t decide how well I like this method. The ones and zeros didn’t help my students as much as I’d hoped. I think if they were taught this way from the beginning, it might work much better. Once they get to Algebra 2, they seem pretty set in their equation solving ways whether they are doing it correctly or incorrectly.

## Free Download of 3 Essential Rules of Math Graphic Organizer and Foldable

3 Essential Rules of Math Graphic Organizer (PDF) (524 downloads)

3 Essential Rules of Math Graphic Organizer (Editable Publisher File ZIP) (363 downloads)

3 Essential Rules of Math Foldable (PDF) (453 downloads)

3 Essential Rules of Math Foldable (Editable Publisher File ZIP) (252 downloads)

## More Resources for Teaching Solving Equations

- Dry Erase Template for Solving Equations Graphically
- Balancing Act Puzzles
- Roots Solutions Zeros X-Intercepts Posters
- Graphing Solutions on a Number Line Speed Dating Activity
- Solving Equations Using Inverse Operations Foldable
- Expression Equation Inequality Foldable
- Using Equations to Solve Word Problems Foldable
- 3 Essential Rules of Math for Solving Equations
- Using Scales to Model Solving Equations with Variables on Both Sides
- DO UNDO Method for Solving Equations Foldable
- Inverse Operations Graphic Organizer
- Solving Equations Flowchart Foldable
- Five Easy Pieces Activity
- Solving Equations Auction Review Game
- Basketball Game for Solving Two Step Equations
- Flow Chart for Solving Multi-Step Equations
- Snowball Fight – Solving Equations Activity
- Solving One Step Equations Foldable

Bridgett

Wednesday 17th of February 2016

Teaching this to 7th grade pre-algebra "lite", however, means that they get these mnemonics from the very beginning. It has helped my kids. Thanks!!

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Friday 19th of February 2016

Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

miss.calcul8

Tuesday 6th of October 2015

One suggestion: maybe change the word function on the front of the foldable to the word operation?

Sarah Carter (@mathequalslove)

Tuesday 6th of October 2015

I like this. I just stole the original wording I found online.