One misconception some third graders have from the start is that the equal sign means : "the answer is". Early on I do a quick mini lesson on the symbol itself. We soon discover that we can replace the symbol with the words "is the same as" or "has the same value as" . I like to jumpstart this lesson by reading this cute book:
From there we start exploring the idea of equality with this equation balance scale. Students LOVE using it and makes the learning concrete. It is a MUST HAVE tool in my classroom.
Here are some other balance scale games that I have found online. I love lots of the crickweb games. You can find all kinds of engaging math games on this site.
Here is an app for the IPAD using a number balance.
Have you checked out the illuminations site? FANTASTIC resource from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
I understand the importance of multiple exposures to math concepts so I will introduce a few games that deal with equality.
They will get placed in our math station boxes for use throughout the year.
|Here is a game that gives students practice identifying if addition equations are equal, greater than or less than each other. It has students identify statements as true or false. The key to the success of this game is making students accountable for proving their thinking instead of just calling out true or false. They must tell why it is true or false. Students are tested in similar ways on the standardized tests they face at the end of the year so it is great practice for this as well.|
You can grab yourself a copy of this game here: