The objective that I am trying to teach is to write and solve a one-step equation from a word problem. I don't mean the "the sum of x and 4 is 10" kind of thing. More like, "You give a cashier $60 for a pair of shoes. The cashier gives you $8 in change. Write an equation to find the cost of the shoes." What I want them to write is 60 - x = 8 OR x + 8 = 60. What the students want to write is 60 - 8 = x . Can anyone help me explain why they can't do it their way? Thanks!