Strategy

Equation Template

UDL 5.3

An equation template is a graphic organizer in which an equation is written with blank spaces for some or all of the equation's symbols. Students fill in the blanks with specific number values or specific operations to construct the equation needed for a problem or scenario. By reducing the number of possible equations for students to choose from, equation templates allow students to focus on the way coefficients and operations affect the behavior of a graph, function, or equation.

Ready-to-Use Resources

Templates

Addition and Subtraction Equation Templates

A variety of templates to support students in solving equations. Set includes blank templates for solving basic addition and subtraction problems. For multiple uses, consider laminating the templates or placing them in plastic sleeves and allowing students to write on them using dry erase markers.

Grade K, 1, 2 · Math · 2 pages


Templates

Balanced Equation Template

A template to support students in balancing equations. For multiple uses, consider laminating the templates or placing them in plastic sleeves and allowing students to write on them using dry erase markers.

Grade 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 · Math · 1 pages


Templates

Geometry Equation Templates

A variety of templates to support students in solving equations. Set includes blank templates for solving common geometry formulas including areas of rectangles, triangles, and circles as well as circumference . For multiple uses, consider laminating the templates or placing them in plastic sleeves and allowing students to write on them using dry erase markers.

Grade 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 · Math · 4 pages


Templates

Multiplication and Division Equation Templates

A variety of templates to support students in solving equations. Set includes blank templates for solving multiplication and division problems. For multiple uses, consider laminating the templates or placing them in plastic sleeves and allowing students to write on them using dry erase markers.

Grade 3, 4, 5 · Math · 2 pages


Templates

Slope-Intercept Form Equation Template

A template to support students in writing and solving linear equations in slope-intercept form. For multiple uses, consider laminating the templates or placing them in plastic sleeves and allowing students to write on them using dry erase markers.

Grade 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 · Math · 1 pages


Implementation Tips

Providing Multiple Equations
As a teacher provides graduated levels of support, he or she might vary the number of equations from which students choose. For example, if students are attempting to model a real-world scenario, a teacher might give one parent function, or, alternately, provide multiple parent functions (linear, quadratic, cubic, etc.) and require students to determine what behavior best fits the scenario.
Scaffolding
As students build comfort with the use of equations, aim to scaffold their use of equation templates. Eventually students should be able to look at an equation in standard form and recognize which variables they will be replacing as they build their own equation (e.g. in y = mx + b, students should know that m and b will be replaced by numerical values, but x will not).

Examples

Linear Equations
If students are working on writing linear equations to describe a graph or table of values, a teacher would provide a version of the slope-intercept form (y = mx + b), with the slope and y-intercept replaced by blanks: y = __ * x + __.
Elementary Word Problems
As elementary students are learning to identify which operation to use when solving word problems, teachers can provide an equation template that contains all of the values, leaving the operation blank for students to complete. This reduces the steps involved in translating the word problem into a numerical equation, allowing students to focus solely on the target skill.
Supporting Addition and Subtraction
When students are first introduced to algebraic thinking, a teacher might tell students, "I am holding 8 tokens in both hands." After opening one hand to reveal 3 tokens, the teacher can ask, how many tokens are in my closed hand? In addition to finding the answer, students can use equation templates to write down both the addition and subtraction equations that represent this scenario, helping building their understanding of inverse operations.