Teacher guide reSolve: Working with algebra

TLF ID M021061

This sequence of two lessons gives students opportunities to explore and share strategies for solving algebraic problems. The lessons focus on open-ended problem solving and developing multiple approaches to solving problems algebraically such as using like terms and substitution. Students work individually and in small groups on activities including composite area problems, solving for a missing term, and 'magic letter' puzzles. Each lesson is outlined in detail including curriculum links, vocabulary, materials needed, sample answers, discussion points and student handouts and puzzle cards. This sequence is part of the reSolve: Maths by Inquiry program.

Educational details

Educational value
  • This resource is extremely valuable for supporting the Number and Algebra strand of year 8 mathematics. It relates to the content description about applying the distributive law to algebraic expressions. Students are given multiple opportunities to use distributivity in different problem-solving settings and to share and explore their strategies.
  • The resources are also valuable for the content description about factorising algebraic expressions. Students are guided to look for factors when simplifying expressions in a number of different problem solving contexts.
  • The resource is also very valuable for the content description regarding simplifying algebraic expressions. Students explore and use multiple strategies to simplify expressions throughout the activities in the resource.
Year level


Learning area
  • Mathematics

Other details

  • Contributor
  • Name: Education Services Australia
  • Organization: Education Services Australia
  • Description: Data manager
  • Address: VIC, AUSTRALIA
  • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
  • Copyright Holder
  • Name: Australian Government Department of Education and Training
  • Organization: Australian Government Department of Education and Training
  • Publisher
  • Name: Australian Academy of Science
  • Organization: Australian Academy of Science
  • Description: Publisher
  • URL: https://www.science.org.au/
  • Resource metadata contributed by
  • Name: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Organisation: Education Services Australia Ltd
  • Address: AUSTRALIA
  • URL: www.esa.edu.au
Access profile
  • Unknown
Learning Resource Type
  • Online
  • © Australian Government Department of Education and Training 2017. Unless otherwise indicated, this material may be used in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence.