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 writes an incorrect equation (or expression) and provides an incorrect answer.
The student attempts to solve without writing an equation and provides an incorrect answer.

Questions Eliciting Thinking Can you restate the problem in your own words? What is the unknown?
What other quantities are described in this problem? How are the quantities related? 
Instructional Implications 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 “number of seats in the center section” and assign a variable (e.g., x) to represent it. Guide the student to consider other quantities described in the problem (e.g., the number of seats in the left and right sections and the total number of seats) and to verbally describe how these quantities are related. Ask the student to model the problem with a diagram and label each quantity. Assist the student in writing an equation that models this relationship (e.g., x + 375 + 375 = 1250). Then relate the equation back to the problem description.
Discourage the student from writing an equation such as x = 1250 – 750 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 to demonstrate other equivalent forms of the equation (e.g., x + 750 = 1250 or 750 + x = 1250). Model using properties of operations such as the Commutative Property to explain why 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 1250  375 x 2, 1250  375  375, 1250  (375 + 375), 1250 – 750 or an equation such as 1250 – 750 = c.

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 write an equation that shows the relationship among the quantities in this problem? 
Instructional Implications Model writing the equation in a form such as x + 375(2) = 1250 and explain how this form models the relationship among the quantities in the problem. Explain that an equation such as x = 1250 – 750 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 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 they wrote and consider other equivalent forms of the equation (e.g., x + 750 = 1250 or 750 + x = 1250). Model using properties of operations such as the Commutative Property to explain why pairs of equations are equivalent.
Provide additional opportunities to write and solve equations to solve realworld and mathematical problems. 
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 writes a correct equation that models the relationship among the variables but makes an error in solving the equation.
The student describes the solution as “the middle seats” instead of “the number of seats” in the middle or center section.

Questions Eliciting Thinking I think you made a small error; can you find and fix it?
Can you be more specific when describing the solution? What do you mean by middle seats? To what quantity does 500 refer? 
Instructional Implications Provide feedback to the student and allow the student to revise his or her work. Discuss strategies for solving onestep equations.
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., c represents the number of seats in the center section not just seats or center section). 
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 x + 375(2) = 1250 and correctly solves it. The student explains that:
 The number of seats in each of the three sections adds up to 1250. Also, since the left and right sections each contain 375 seats, there are 750 seats in these two sections and,
 There are 500 seats in the center section.
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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?
Suppose the question said there were 1250 seats total and all three sections had the same number of seats. Can you write an equation that can be used to solve this problem? What is the meaning of the variable in this situation? 
Instructional Implications Review operations with fractions, and then consider using MFAS task Equally Driven (6.EE.2.7), which assesses the student’s ability to write equations involving nonnegative rational numbers.
Review solving equations of the form px=q, and then consider using MFAS task University Parking (6.EE.2.7). 