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You are on page 1of 7

Laura King

Unit Overview

Unit title:

Algebra

Number and Algebra

Grade/year level:

Year 3/4 Level 4

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).

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.

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.

Topic: Algebra

Key mathematical understandings

(2-4 understandings only; written as statements believed to be

true about the mathematical idea/topic):

different ways

always signify the answer

Term: 3

Week: 4

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

sentences relating to equivalence

relation to algebra

Weights

Statement cards

Retrieved from

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

balance, equal to, share, greater than, difference

probing questions):

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)

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

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

reading a story)

(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)

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

6 $1 coins. Ask the

students if the two students

have equal amounts to

spend? After discussion,

test if students are correct

using the balance scale.

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

Persuading

Planning

Predicting

Presenting

Providing feedback

Questioning

situations such as sharing of jobs, distribution of

money, food etc.

Reading

Recognising bias

Reflecting

Reporting

Responding

Restating

Revising

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.)

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

ADAPTATIONS

- Enabling prompt

(to allow those experiencing difficulty to

engage in active experiences related to

the initial goal task)

- Extending prompt

(questions that extend students

thinking on the initial task)

Enabling prompt:

- Limit the variety of

materials that

students have to

experiment with

- Use labelled

weights

- What happens if

we add more

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)

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

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.

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.

sides, true or false. Explain

what it means for a

statement to be true

(equal) or false (unequal).

Read some true or false

statements and have

students choose a side.

Then have students justify

why they chose that side.

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.

Ask students to choose

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

problem. Ask probing

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:

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, < & >.

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

answers and any

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

Levi, Carpenter, 1999).

Pose students this open

number sentence,

8 +4 = [] +5

Give students time to think

about the answer. On the

count of 3, students say

their answer. If students

had different responses,

ask them to justify why.

Explain the role of the

equal sign and what it

represents.

their own open sentences

with an unknown amount.

Swap with a partner to see

if they can solve each

others open sentences.

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.

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