Getting Started 
Misconception/Error The student is unable to correctly represent the problem with an equation. 
Examples of Student Work at this Level The student:
 Attempts to solve the problem without writing an equation and provides an incorrect answer.
 Writes an incorrect equation (or expression) and provides an incorrect answer.
 Writes an inequality and provides an incorrect answer.

Questions Eliciting Thinking Can you restate the problem in your own words?
What do you think is meant by “write an equation”?
What is a variable? What does your variable represent? 
Instructional Implications Review operations with rational numbers, as needed.
Help the student understand that writing and solving equations is an effective problem solving strategy. Provide mathematical and realworld contexts that describe unknown quantities that can be represented by variables and variable expressions. Ask the student to identify the unknown and clearly define a variable to represent it. For example, guide the student to begin by defining the unknown quantity as the “additional amount of time needed to reach Grandma’s house” and assign a variable (e.g., x) to represent it. Then guide the student to consider other quantities described in the problem (e.g., time already traveled and total time to complete the trip) and to verbally describe how these quantities are related. Assist the student in writing an equation that models this relationship (e.g., x + 2 = 4). Then relate the equation back to the problem description.
Discourage the student from writing an equation such as x = 4 – 2 which reflects a computational procedure for solving the problem rather than modeling a relationship among the quantities described in the problem. Explain that although this equation is equivalent to others written, it is better to write equations that model relationships. Explain that as problem contexts become more complex (e.g., those represented by multistep linear equations, quadratic equations, and exponential equations), it will be much easier to model relationships with an equation and then solve the equation rather than attempt a computational strategy.
Ask other students to share equations that demonstrate other equivalent forms of the equation (e.g., 2 + x = 4 or x + 2 = 4). Model using properties of operations such as the Commutative Property to explain why these pairs of equations are equivalent.
Provide additional opportunities to write and solve equations to solve realworld and mathematical problems. 
Moving Forward 
Misconception/Error The student solves the problem by writing a numerical expression or an equation that reflects a numerical procedure. 
Examples of Student Work at this Level The student correctly solves the problem but writes an expression such as 4 – 2 or an equation such as 4 – 2 = x.

Questions Eliciting Thinking What is the difference between an expression and an equation? Did you write an expression or an equation? Can you write an equation instead of an expression?
What is the meaning of the variable?
Can you model this problem with a diagram?
Can you write an equation that shows the relationship among the quantities in this problem? 
Instructional Implications Model writing the equation in a form such as 2 + x = 4 and explain how this form models the relationship among the quantities in the problem. Explain that an equation such as 4 – 2 = x reflects a computational procedure for solving the problem rather than modeling the relationship among the quantities. Further explain that although this equation is equivalent to 2 + x = 4, it is better to write equations that model relationships. Explain that as problem contexts become more complex (for example, those represented by multistep linear equations, quadratic equations, and exponential equations), it will be much easier to model relationships with an equation and then solve the equation rather than attempt a computational strategy.
Ask other students to share equations they wrote to present other equivalent forms of the equation (e.g., 2 + x = 4 or x + 2 = 4). Model using properties of operations such as the Commutative Property to explain why these pairs of equations are equivalent.
Provide additional opportunities to write and solve equations to solve realworld and mathematical problems. Address operations with rational numbers as needed. 
Almost There 
Misconception/Error The student is unable to correctly solve the equation and/or interpret the solution. 
Examples of Student Work at this Level The student makes an error in solving the equation.
The student does not describe the solution accurately.

Questions Eliciting Thinking I think you made an error solving your equation; can you find and fix it?
Can you be more specific when describing the solution? What does your variable represent? 
Instructional Implications Provide feedback to the student and allow the student to revise his or her work. Discuss strategies for solving onestep equations involving rational numbers. Address operations with rational numbers as needed.
Encourage the student to be explicit when defining a variable or describing a solution. Remind the student that a variable represents an unknown quantity, so an appropriate definition of a variable should include a numerical reference (e.g., h represents the additional amount of time needed to get to Grandmother’s house, not just time or hours). 
Got It 
Misconception/Error The student provides complete and correct responses to all components of the task. 
Examples of Student Work at this Level The student writes an equation such as 2 + x = 4 and correctly solves it. The student explains:
 The 2 hours already driven plus the remaining time sum to 4 hours and,
 It will take Lynn an additional 1 hours to drive to her grandmother’s house.
The student may write an equation of the form q – p = x, but upon questioning, easily writes the equation in the form x + p = q.

Questions Eliciting Thinking How can you check your solution?
What is the meaning of the variable in your equation? Can you write your equation in another form? Did the meaning of the variable change in your new equation?
How long would it take Lynn to drive halfway to her grandmother’s house? Can you write an equation to represent this situation?
How long would it take Lynn to drive to her grandmother’s house and back? 
Instructional Implications Review solving equations of the form px = q, and consider using MFAS task University Parking (6.EE.2.7) or MFAS task Solar Solutions (6.EE.2.7). 