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1.16 MB | 26 pages of student work pages
An introduction to solving variable equations that uses fact families as the starting point. These pages make explicit the relationship between parts and whole in any equation: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. This minimizes students’ tendency to solve equations ”backwards,” ( e.g., N + 14 = 37, N = 51 ). It also stresses the relative size of the three numbers in an equation, one of which is a total and is necessarily the largest number.
Emphasis is on identifying the known, rather than the unknown, numbers. Once students understand how to identify the two numbers that are known, they can easily write the expression needed to solve the equation.
The process is identical for both addition-subtraction, and multiplication-division equations. The beginning point is simple for students who haven’t encountered variable equations before. An introduction to what a variable is should be done prior to using this.
There are 13 pages of work including explanations and problems for both addition/subtraction equations, and multiplication/division equations. Both sections include some decimal equations, but there is no multiplication or division by numbers less than 1.
Common Core Standards:
4.OA.3: “…using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding.”
Subject: Math, Algebra, Mental Math, Equations
Level: Grades 4 – 6
Length/Duration: 26 pages of student work (13 pages each for addition/subtraction and multiplication/division equations) 2-3 days for each set
Type of Resource: Instructional unit with students relating fact families to the solving of variable equations.
Answer Key: included
A Smart Notebook 10 file is also included. Click on the .zip icon and you can open the PDF and Notebook files separately.