Prep work for linear equations in my eyes is understanding equality (what does equal sign mean?) and also the other relationships: not equal, less than (<), more than (>). We are pacticing some basic arithmetic with equality and first problem in the picture was our anchor. When students were asked HOW they knew the unknown was 5 they stated…(see second picture) Very eye opening for many kids to hear this. I asked the question what stays the same and what is different on both sides of the “equation”? Students walked out of class feeling successful and many learned a lot more than they expect to just doing arithmetic. Great scaffolding for solving linear equations in one variable.