Developing a deep, conceptual understanding of the equal sign, equality, and inequality is a necessary part of mathematics especially when it comes to having a strong number sense. It is also a building block to algebra. This unit starts with developing a basic understanding of what the equal sign means, then the lessons and activities scaffold from there. It is directly aligned with the Common Core Standards.
This unit uses discussion as a base for student learning. It follows the CGI (Cognitively Guided Instruction) Philosophy where students come to an understanding on their own with the help of their teacher. The inspiration for the unit was the book Thinking Mathematically by Thomas Carpenter.
In this unit, students will:
Discuss the meaning of the equal sign
Explore true/false equations
Explore and answer open equations
Develop an understanding that the equal sign is not a command
Learn how to write a string of equations.
Justify and explain their thinking and ideas.
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