# Algebraic Thinking Task Cards: Number Sense for Grades 3-5

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- PDF (32 pages)
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### Description

This set of **52 differentiated algebraic thinking task cards **is perfect to help students use problem solving to learn about balancing simple equations and truly understanding what that equal sign means. The concepts of “equals” is such an essential mathematical concept—and one that is often not taught explicitly in many math programs. Consider the following problem:

**5 + 8 = ____ + 3**

Students have a good sense of the concept of equals know that “10” goes in the box. Every year, I am shocked by the number of students who think it is “13”—or that the problem can’t be done at all! Many students are programmed to think that the “=“ sign means “find the answer” when, in actuality, it is a sign indicating that the two sides balance.

Deep understanding of this helps down the road with algebra and other more advanced math—and also makes a smooth transition to INequalities as well. Moving our “box” (or “variable”, or a letter, or a line, or a question mark) to different places in equations helps students think about numbers and equality and not just filling in the blank. This task card set is geared toward helping students develop this understanding. I tell them that they are doing algebra—and they absolutely love it! Consider doing a few of the early cards as a class to teach the concept and then let your students take off!

One of my students’ favorite activities is to make their OWN task cards, so once they have learned this concept, send them off to make their own cards at a variety of levels and then print and laminate those for your class to use as well. ENJOY!

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**This resource is also available as part of a "Teaching Tandem" product where you can get this resource AND a set of algebra thinking concept sorts combined at a reduced price. **

Want even MORE of them? Now there is a "Set 2". Just CLICK HERE TO VIEW Set 2

It is also available as a digital task card resource in my GOOGLE EDITION resources!

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