Spring SAVY 2017, Day 3- Awesome Algebra
Our class was moved to the Hobbs building today, and the students did a wonderful job adjusting to our new environment. We appreciate your diligence in continuing to bring them awake and alert, ready to learn each Saturday. Thank you also for continuing to send peanut-free snacks that are safe for everyone in our classroom community. We are just 6 compliments away from earning a special treat!
Today we continued our number talks, finding “friendly numbers” to help us add mentally. Students learned that to add numbers like 19 +6, we would break apart the 6 into a 5 and a 1, so we can add one to make the friendly number of 20. That left us with five more to add in, making 25. We applied that strategy to mentally add numbers like 39 +15 or 49 + 11. This ten-minute warm-up really has their brains thinking! In stations today, we wrote coin equations, reviewed patterns, and learned how to use a balance scale to find unknowns. We added three careers to our Algebra in Real Life booklets: medical careers, chefs, and landscaper. I loved hearing their suggestions of ways these real life careers use algebra.
Students began using the hands-on equations program today to explore the concept of balance. They were able to solve one-step equations such as x + 4 = 10 or 2x = x +4 (pictorial representations only) by manipulating the pieces of the system to solve for x. Next week, we will begin learning a sequence of “legal” moves that make this process even simpler. They will learn to recognize the variable “x” in context, and even write some of their own equations. Their deductive reasoning skills were put to the test as we explored the concept of the = sign and what it means to truly be in balance. We look forward to showing off our skills with you soon!
This week, you can reinforce our learning targets at home by asking kids to do mental math while you are out and about. We will be introducing associative and commutative properties next week, so you can help them to see how 4 +7 and 7 + 4 yield the same thing. Talk to them about how/why that is important in algebraic thinking. Encourage them to add large numbers mentally by breaking apart addends to help build friendly numbers. Ask them to compute these for you without pencil and paper. If you think they are ready, move them on to subtraction by looking at it the same way. If 50-10 = 40, than 50-11 must be one less (39). I can’t wait to hear how they’ve been thinking this week! Until next week, happy patterning!