# Math Concept Sorts: 5 Algebraic Thinking Sorts for Fourth Grade and Fifth Grade

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Common Core Standards
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1. Interested in helping your students develop their deep math understanding and "math talk"? Are you familiar with concept sorts? Many people use "sorts" with their spelling or word work programs, but sorting and categorizing can be extremely effective learning strategies for MANY areas! I have fou
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Interested in helping your students develop their algebraic understanding? Are you familiar with concept sorts? Many people use "sorts" with their spelling or word work programs, but sorting and categorizing can be extremely effective learning strategies for MANY areas! I have found sorts to be particularly effective in my math instruction, and I am excited to begin offering some of these sorts to you! If you are unfamiliar with how sorts are used, I have included a full blog post with photos to help get you started! So...what's included in THIS resource?

*Everything you need to do 5 different sorts related to algebra thinking concepts. The concepts covered vary from "What does 'equal' really mean?" to solving simple algebraic expressions such as "4n - 5 = 11". Believe it or not...with the simple lessons that are suggested, your fourth and fifth grade students (or GREAT for review/remedial middle school work!) can easily learn how to "balance" sides of an equation, recognize that some expressions have "sets" of numbers for answers, and what a variable is. Never taught this before? NO WORRIES! I have included teaching tips as well as an actual blog post to show you how to use it!

This blog post has actual photos that explains EXACTLY how I completed a sort with my own students. Feel free to get creative and try different approaches—but I have given one highly effective and efficient way to do this.

What else? Each of the 5 sorts has a “Show What You Know” sheet that follows the rule of the sort. Use as independent practice or as an assessment after you have done a sort to see what the students know and what they still need to learn. Many of these also ask students to explain their thinking—a key part of the CCSS!

Also included with each sort is a page of blank cards if you wish to extend the learning by having students create MORE examples that go in each category. This is a great way to differentiate for more capable learners! See each sort for other differentiation hints!

Hey--there's no answer key! Why? The important part about doing these sorts is the discussion rather than making sure every answer is instantly correct. Let the students discuss, prove their ideas, and develop understanding!

*A CCSS alignment sheet to show how these sorts align to the grades 4-5 CCSS.

I hope you find the resource thorough, relevant, and engaging--and that it will push your students to increase the depth of their understanding and their mathematical practices as well.

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What other sets of concept sorts are available in my store?

Fraction Concepts

Angle Studies

Geometry Sorts

Multiplication Concepts

Algebra Thinking Concepts

A Bundle of ALL FIVE!

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This algebra thinking resource is also available as part of a "Teaching Tandem" product where you can get this resource AND a set of task cards to develop the concept of "equals" combined at a reduced price.

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All rights reserved by ©The Teacher Studio. Purchase of this resource entitles the purchaser the right to reproduce the pages in limited quantities for single classroom use only. Duplication for an entire school, an entire school system, or commercial purposes is strictly forbidden without written permission from the author at fourthgradestudio@gmail.com. Additional licenses are available at a reduced price.

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