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# EDMA310/360 Mathematics unit planner

Laura King

Unit Overview

Unit title:
Algebra

## Content maths area:

Number and Algebra

Year 3/4 Level 4

## Learning Focus (ideas extrapolated from AusVELS):

Content Strand: Patterns and Algebra
Use equivalent number sentences involving addition and subtraction to find unknown quantities
(ACMNA083)

Proficiency Strands
Problem-solving Students show their ability to model, interpret and apply prior knowledge to
new tasks. They use different strategies and effectively communicate their thinking.
Reasoning Students are involved in justifying their responses in relation to true or false
statements and convincing others that their solution is correct.

Rationale:
This area is important as research shows that there are several misconceptions surrounding
equivalence and what the equal sign means (Baroudi, 2006). Research also shows that
students need opportunities to construct their own understandings using concrete materials but
also transfer this to symbolic numeral form (Baroudi, 2006). Number sentences such as open
sentences are an effective way to explore equivalence (Falkner, Levi, & Carpenter, 1999; Reys
et al., 2012).

## Assumed prior knowledge of students:

Students will have experience exploring unknowns when creating patterns and determining the
next element in the sequence. They have also explored number sentences using addition and
subtraction.

## Grouping strategies to support learning:

Students will be placed in flexible groups for this unit (Van de Walle, Karp, Lovin, Bay-Williams.,
2014). They will be working as a whole class group to allow for rich discussion. They will also be
placed in mixed-ability partnerships so children can reason with each other and share different
strategies (Reys et al., 2012; Sullivan, 1997). There will also be a strong focus on ESL learners
and particularly developing the language used in discussing equivalence through support of
visual materials (Van de Walle, Karp, Bay-Williams., (2010). They will also be working
individually and then sharing with partners as some students find this form of communication
less threatening and are more comfortable to share responses and thinking.

Overview of assessment:

There will be formative assessment collected such as student work samples on number
sentences that they have answered and also created. Majority of the assessment will be
observation of their reasoning and justification of problems when students are in groups,
questioning their thinking and strategies and taking notes on group and class discussion about
childrens insights.

## MATHEMATICS UNIT PLANNER

Topic: Algebra
Key mathematical understandings
(2-4 understandings only; written as statements believed to be

different ways

Term: 3

Week: 4

## Key AusVELS Focus / Standard (taken directly from AusVELS documents):

Content strand(s):
Number and Algebra
Measurement and Geometry
Sub-strand(s): Patterns and Algebra

Date: 7.8.2014
Statistics and Probability

Level descriptions:
Use equivalent number sentences involving addition and subtraction to find unknown quantities (ACMNA083)
Proficiency strand(s):
Understanding
Fluency
Problem Solving
Reasoning
Problem-solving Students show their ability to model, interpret and apply prior knowledge to new tasks. They
use different strategies and effectively communicate their thinking.

Reasoning Students are involved in justifying their responses and strategies and convincing others that their
solution is correct

only):

materials

Balance scales

## Exploring unknown elements in number

sentences relating to equivalence

## Shapes, bottles, weighted cartons

relation to algebra

Weights

Statement cards

## NCTM Illuminations Pan Balance (Numbers).

http://illuminations.nctm.org/Activity.aspx?id=3530

## Equals, same as, less than, more than, different,

balance, equal to, share, greater than, difference

## develop understanding to be used during the sequence of lessons; 3 5

probing questions):

## The equal sign means the answer or as an

instruction to do something

Learning
strategies/
skills

Analysing
Checking
Classifying
Co-operating
Considering options
Designing
Elaborating

MATHEMATICAL
FOCUS
(what you want the children
to come to understand as a
result of this lesson short,
succinct statement)

Session 1
Experiment
creating equal
amounts using
different
materials

Estimating
Explaining
Generalising
Hypothesising
Inferring
Interpreting
Justifying

TUNING IN
(WHOLE CLASS FOCUS)

## How can you prove that they are the same?

Can you convince me that the amounts are
equal?
What other ways can you represent or show
equality?

Listening
Locating information
Making choices
Note taking
Observing
Ordering events
Organising

INVESTIGATIONS
SESSION

## (a short, sharp task relating to the

focus of the lesson; sets the scene/
context for what students do in the
independent aspect. e.g., It may be a
problem posed, spider diagram, an
open-ended question, game, or

(INDEPENDENT LEARNING)
(extended opportunity for students to
work in pairs, small groups or
individually. Time for teacher to probe
childrens thinking or work with a small
group for part of the time and to also
conduct roving conferences)

## Have two students stand

up. Give them each a bag
of money. Explain that you
gave one student 4 \$2
coins but you gave the
other student 1 \$2 coin and
students if the two students
have equal amounts to
spend? After discussion,
test if students are correct
using the balance scale.

## Students working in pairs,

use the balance scales and
different materials to
explore equivalence.
Students record their
findings and what they
found gave equal weights.
Questions:
What combinations have
you been able to create?
How do you work out that
these values are equal?

Performing
Planning
Predicting
Presenting
Providing feedback
Questioning

## This topic can be related to everyday life

situations such as sharing of jobs, distribution of
money, food etc.

Recognising bias
Reflecting
Reporting
Responding
Restating
Revising

## REFLECTION & MAKING

CONNECTIONS
SESSION
(WHOLE CLASS FOCUS)
(focused teacher questions and
summary to draw out the mathematics
and assist children to make links. NB.
This may occur at particular points
during a lesson. Use of spotlight,
strategy, gallery walk, etc.)

## Teacher chooses 3 groups

that used a variety of
materials on each side to
balance the scales to
present to whole class.
Students explain how they
came to find the values
were equal.

Seeing patterns
Selecting information
Self-assessing
Sharing ideas
Summarising
Synthesising

- Enabling prompt
(to allow those experiencing difficulty to
engage in active experiences related to
- Extending prompt
(questions that extend students

Enabling prompt:
- Limit the variety of
materials that
students have to
experiment with
- Use labelled
weights
- What happens if
weight to one
side? What do I
need to put on the
other side to make
it equal?
Extending prompt:

Testing
Viewing
Visually representing
Working independently
Working to a timetable

ASSESSMENT
STRATEGIES
(should relate to objective. Includes
what the teacher will listen for,
observe, note or analyse; what
evidence of learning will be collected
and what criteria will be used to
analyse the evidence)

## Teacher will be making

notes of the different
language that students
are using. Will be
listening for the strategies
used to make the scales
equal when they became
unbalanced.

Encourage
students to use as
many different and
varying materials
on either side of
the balance scale

Session 2
Create equal
amounts using
cups and
counters and
expressing
them using
symbolic and
numeral
language.

Session 3
Explore
true/false
statements
relating to
equivalence

## Seesaw Game (Van de

Walle et al. 2014)
Students raise their arms
to look like a seesaw.
Explain that you have
numbers that weigh the
same amount as their
value. Present visual cards
with different amounts or
equations such as 8 + 1 or
9. Students tilt depending
on whether the amounts
are equal or which way
they are unbalanced.

## Students explore the

balance scales using cups
and counters in pairs.
However, this time
students record either
using drawings or numbers
the different amounts they
place on the scales and if
they are equal using the
equal sign. ESL students
working in focus group.

## Divide the room into two

sides, true or false. Explain
what it means for a
statement to be true
(equal) or false (unequal).
statements and have
students choose a side.
Then have students justify
why they chose that side.

## Students work individually.

They attempt to make the
false statements true.
Concrete materials are
available to students if
need be. Students then
write their own true or false
statements and swap with
a partner.

Learning Walk.
either a correct or incorrect
example of equivalence.
Students take a walk and
see if they can solve them.
Have students gather
around an incorrect
questions such as Who
can tell me if this is correct
or incorrect?
How could we make this
equal?

Enabling prompt:
- Use cards with
different
expressions and
have students
choose and create
using counters and
cups that they
think will be equal.

Group Discussion.
Choose 2 students to write
a true statement and a
false statement. Students
then choose which is true
or false. Students justify
their responses. Then
using online balance scale,
enter values to see
whether it is equal and
balances (NCTM

Enabling prompt:
- ESL students or
students having
difficulty, work in a
focus group
creating
statements
together with the
use of materials.
Extending prompt:

## Teacher will be observing

the different combinations
that students create.
Teacher will be listening
to discussion and making
notes once again of the
language used, be hoping
students are using terms
such as equal, less than,
greater and recording
them correctly.

Extending prompt:
- Have students
record their
findings using
symbols for less
than and greater
than, < & >.

## Teacher will be using

students individual work
to interpret students
understanding of
equivalence. Teacher will
also be observing and
taking notes of discussion
in all parts of the lesson.
Listening to ways
students justify their

Illuminations Pan
Balance: Numbers).
Teacher focuses on the
role of the equal sign and
its role.

Session 4
Explore open
number
sentences and
role of equal
sign

## Open sentences (Falkner,

Levi, Carpenter, 1999).
Pose students this open
number sentence,
8 +4 = [] +5
Give students time to think
count of 3, students say
Explain the role of the
equal sign and what it
represents.

## Students then create 5-8 of

their own open sentences
with an unknown amount.
Swap with a partner to see
if they can solve each
others open sentences.

## Closure: Whole class

regroup on the floor.
Probing questions.
Who can explain what the
role of the equal sign is in
the number sentences?
What strategies did
students use to
create/solve their number
sentences?

Use more
complicated
statements
involving different
functions such as
multiplication and
division

Enabling prompt:
- Use cards with
values from 0-9 to
help create
number sentences
Extending prompt:
- introduce more
variables
eg. 7 + [] = [] + 2
- introduce different
operations (Reys
et al., 2012)
Eg. 7 + [] = [] x 3
Or
8 + [] 7 + [] =10

strategies used.

Teacher is collecting
students work and the
number sentences they
have created.
Teacher is listening to
discussion in group time.
Teacher will be paying
close attention to
students strategies and
whether they use are
using relational thinking.