Made 4 Math: Radical Equation Stips

This year in Algebra II I taught solving radical equations for the first time. I don't really know where this idea came from but I ran with it. I have a small class of 12 students so I created 4 sets of strips and divided my students into groups of three.

I put a star * by the strip that represented the first step in the problem. Each strip represented a different step in the process of solving a radical equation. Students had to put the strips in order, check with me, and then write down what was happening in each step of the process.

Here are the strips:

I printed them on card stock and then laminated them. But I did create the file with the steps out of order in case you want to pass them out and have the students cut them out instead of you.

Last but not least, here's the worksheet I used for them to write down the process. Here's a tip, I only created four steps but that was confusing because students wanted to write 'square both sides' and then after that write 'square roots disappear' when I considered that one step in my brain. So you may want to add another step in there.

This took most of the period and the next day I gave them a worksheet of problems and wrote the answers on the board. They worked them all with very little trouble although their were two problems with fractions which I should have included in our sequencing activity.

On their assessment for radicals, this was the concept they did the best on overall.

On a side note, I thought it was cute that when I first passed out the strips they immediately started to sort them into piles. lol See, sorting pays off!!


  1. This was FANTASTIC. We used it last week and the kids whipped right through radical equations. If only I could figure out how to get them to the same level with simplifying radicals...

    My student teacher even made his own equation strips for solving exponential functions. What an awesome idea!

    1. I use square root trees similar to a factor tree to teach simplifying radicals. I've never taught it another way so I can't really tell you if it's the best or not...