One of the Big Ideas in mathematics is teaching kids that the equal sign doesn't mean "give a solution"; we need to instill a deep understanding that the equal sign means "each side is equal".
Here is a Valentine's Day themed activity that can be used with kids as young as second grade up to fifth grade. The focus is on using multiplication to make each side of an equation balance.
There are three worksheets of increasing difficulty, starting with two factors on one side and one product on the other. The other two increase in difficulty by adding additional factors to both sides.This makes it an appropriate differentiated for all your students, including those that need more challenging mathematics. There are six problems on each page, making it a quick activity that can be completed in a 30 minute block of time or less.
An answer key for each page is included.
Also included is a PowerPoint presentation that is meant to be used as a front-load and instruction for the activity. PowerPoint is not needed to run this presentation; there are included instructions from Microsoft to download their free player. I created a MPV video that can used instead as well.
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