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Solving Equations with Variables on Both Sides Sorting Activity

Since my non-standard operations sorting card activity was such a hit with my Algebra 1 students, I decided to use the same practice structure to make an activity for my students to get extra practice with solving equations with variables on both sides.

I created a deck of 12 cards. Each card contained an equation with variables on both sides and a special symbol.

When the 12 equations are solved, they can be placed into four groups of three cards each. Each card in the group will have the exact same solution. I like this structure because it helps students check their work and builds confidence all at the same time. If students end up with five or more groups, they know to re-check the problems in the groups that had the least cards in them. 

I printed these cards on pretty pink paper and laminated each set. 


A laminator is a MUST-HAVE for me as a math teacher! I spent my first six years as a teacher at a school with a broken laminator, so I had to find a way to laminate things myself.

I’ve had several laminators over the years. I currently use a Scotch laminator at home and a Swingline laminator at school.

I highly recommend splurging a bit on the actual laminator and buying the cheapest laminating pouches you can find!

I also created an answer key sheet that lets me quickly check a group’s work to see if their groupings are correct.

More Resources for Teaching Solving Equations


Saturday 21st of October 2017

Hi Sarah!

Thank you for sharing your ideas towards creatively teaching Mathematics. As a newbie in the field, this initiative really helped me a lot. I would love to emulate the activities you've been sharing.

David Philippines