An introduction to solving variable equations that uses fact families as the starting point. These pages make explicit the Part-Part-Whole relationship between the three numbers in an equation.
Emphasis is on the known, rather than the unknown, numbers. Once students understand the patterns for all addition and subtraction equations, they can easily and intuitively place the numbers within the appropriate expression to solve the equation. This also minimizes students’ tendency to solve equations ”backwards,” ( e.g., N + 14 = 37, N = 51 ).
Students need some familiarity with fact families. An introduction to variables is helpful but not essential.
Common Core Standards:
Standards 2.OA.3, 3.OA.8, and 4.OA.3 all state that students need to be able to solve problems using a symbol or letter to represent the unknown number.
Subject: Math, Algebra, Mental Math, Equations
Level: Grades 3 – 4
Length/Duration: 8 pages of student work, 2-3 days
Type of Resource: Instructional unit with students relating fact families to the solving of variable equations.
Answer Key: Included
A Smart Notebook 14 file is also included.