# Current California Math Standards Balanced Equations

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1 Balanced Equations

2 Current California Math Standards Balanced Equations Grade Three Number Sense 1.0 Students understand the place value of whole numbers: 1.1 Count, read, and write whole numbers to 10, Compare and order whole numbers to 10, Students calculate and solve problems involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division:.1 Find the sum or difference of two whole numbers between 0 and 10,000. Grade Three Algebra and Functions 1.0 Students select appropriate symbols, operations, and properties to represent, describe, simplify, and solve simple number relationships: 1.1 Represent relationships of quantities in the form of mathematical expressions, equations, or inequalities. 1. Solve problems involving numeric equations or inequalities. 1.3 Select appropriate operational and relational symbols to make an expression true (e.g., if 4 3 = 1, what operational symbol goes in the blank?). Grade Four Algebra and Functions 1.0 Students use and interpret variables, mathematical symbols, and properties to write and simplify expressions and sentences: 1.1 Use letters, boxes, or other symbols to stand for any number in simple expressions or equations (e.g., demonstrate an understanding and the use of the concept of a variable)..0 Students know how to manipulate equations:.1 Know and understand that equals added to equals are equal. Grade Five Algebra and Functions 1.0 Students use variables in simple expressions, compute the value of the expression for specific values of the variable, and plot and interpret the results: 1. Use a letter to represent an unknown number; write and evaluate simple algebraic expressions in one variable by substitution. Grade Six Algebra and Functions 1.0 Students write verbal expressions and sentences as algebraic expressions and equations; they evaluate algebraic expressions, solve simple linear equations, and graph and interpret their results: 1. Write and evaluate an algebraic expression for a given situation, using up to three variables. Balanced Equations Standards 1

3 Balanced Equations Materials: One deck of digit cards for every two players (see note below) One set of digit cards for modeling Four Copies of the Balanced Equations Demonstration Scale (see page ) Student Recording Sheet (see page 10) Independent Practice Sheet (see page 11) Note: Using the master on page 1 you can make decks of digit cards. A deck consists of four sets of the 1- digits. You would need to make sets of 1- in Color One (we are using pink) and sets of 1- in Color Two (we are using blue) for every pair of players. Each deck of digit cards needs to be well mixed before distributing to students. Mathematical Practice Standards: 3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.. Look for and make use of structure. Standards: Grade 3 NS 1.1, NS 1., NS.1; AF 1.1, AF 1., and AF 1.3 Grade 4 AF 1.1 and AF.1 Grade AF 1. Grade 6 AF 1. Background Information: This activity provides an opportunity to explore students misconceptions about an equal sign denoting the need for an arithmetic answer. Students play a game where they work to create expressions on each side of the equal sign to create an overall balanced equation. This helps students internalize the idea that the equal sign means equivalent. This activity gives students practice with adding numbers, and provides a foundation for students to work with equations that replace numbers with letters, boxes, or other symbols (see independent practice). Introduction ( minutes): Share with children that many people believe that an equal sign means that we are looking for an answer to a math expression. Tell them that it actually means that we are trying to make what is written on the left side of the equal sign have the same value as what is written on the right side of the equal sign. The expressions need to be equivalent to one another. To better understand what I mean, I am going model some equations using the demonstration scale. Write a 1 on the left side of the scale and a 4 on the right side of the scale. At the top of the page cross out the numbers 1 and 4 because each digit can only be used once. Ask the class if the scale is balanced. Ask the students what you need to do to make it balance [they should say write a 3 on the left side of the scale]. Write the 3 on the left side and then write a plus sign between the 1 and 3.

4 Do this again with a new demonstration sheet. Write a 3 and a on the left side of the scale. At the top of the page cross out the numbers 3 and because each digit can only be used once. Ask what needs to be written on the right side [a ] to balance the equation. Put a plus sign between the 3 and and write a five on the right side of the scale. Do this again with a new demonstration sheet. Now write a 1 on the left and a on the right. At the top of the page cross out the numbers 1 and because each digit can only be used once. Ask them how to balance the equations. Students should eventually offer up some ideas like putting a on the left and a 6 on the right, or a 6 on the left and a on the right, and etc. If you feel students understand what is meant by a balanced equation you can move on to demonstrating the game. If they need further clarification (especially at the lower grades) you can model again with a 3 on the left and a 6 on the right. [solutions offered could include 4 on the left and 1 on the right, on the left and on the right, and etc.]. Tell students they are going to use what they just learned to play a game. They are going to use digit cards to create balanced equations. The pink cards will be placed on the left side of the scale and the blue cards will be placed on the right. Both sides need to balance. Tell them you are going to model this for them to help them understand the game. Demonstration (1 minutes): To ensure a successful beginning to your demonstration, your top 1 cards in your demonstration deck should be in this order: B, P, P6, B, B3, P, B, P, P, B, B, P, P, P, and B (B = and P = ); place the other cards below these first 1 cards. Order does not matter for these cards. By putting the recommended 1 cards on top you will be able to model various scenarios and allow students to see numerous possibilities. Post the first seven cards face up on the white board using magnets (or place the cards under the document camera or use the Smart Board). Demonstrate to students how to create a balanced equation. (Use the following cards to ensure a good variety of solutions). Also, group them with the pink on the left and the blue on the right to reinforce that they are balancing the pink on one side of the equation and the blue on the other side of the equation. 6 3 CARDS 3 CARDS 4 CARDS CARDS 6 CARDS 1 pink two 1 pink six 1 pink six 1 pink six 1 pink two 1 pink seven 1 pink two 1 pink seven 1 pink seven 1 pink six 1 blue two 1 blue two 1 blue five 1 blue two 1 blue eight 1 blue three 1 blue eight 1 blue five 1 blue eight 1 blue eight 3

5 First show students how to create a balanced equation with two cards. Explain that in this game they would earn points because they created an equation using two numbers. Next show them a balanced equation with three cards. Explain that they get 3 points because they created an equation using three numbers. Ask if anyone sees a way to make a balanced equation with four cards. Repeat with five cards and then with six cards. Ask if anyone can make a balanced equation with seven cards (this cannot be done). Ask them why it cannot be done (the blue cards total 1 but the pink cards total 1 which would not balance). Continue to model how to play the game by competing against one student from the class. (Be sure to select a student that will be able to make some good observations or this demonstration will take a long time and will not be all that beneficial). Tell the selected student to choose which balanced equation they want to claim (hopefully that student chooses to make a balanced equation with six cards) and to justify why they selected this one. Ask students if they agree or disagree with the balanced equation selected. Allow dialogue to continue until the six card balanced equation has been universally accepted by the class (by having the student select the 6 point equation you will be able to ensure your next two modeling opportunities provide good examples). Explain that the student earned six points because they created an equation using six numbers. Use the document camera or overhead to demonstrate how to record this balanced equation on the recording sheet (see figure below to see how the balanced equation should be recorded). 6 It is a competition so now it is your turn. Share with the students that the six cards used in the balanced equation go into a discard pile and will not be used again this game. Model how you must leave the card that was not used on the board and deal six additional cards. (Replace the six cards with the top six cards from the deck. If you put the cards in the suggested order the new seven cards should look like the figure below). Tell them you must try to create a balanced equation using these cards. 3 4

6 3 Notice how the two fives are moved above the rest of the cards? This is to show that this is one possibility. Think aloud so students can hear a strategy. I know that = however, that s only two points. Is there another balanced equation I can create to earn more points? Try a few different combinations, but acknowledge that you can only earn two points on this turn, because it s the only balanced equation that can be made. It s good for students to see that sometimes they can only earn two points. Use the document camera to record the balanced equation on the teacher s recording sheet. Note: Sometimes a balanced equation cannot be made with the seven cards that are showing. Inform students that if this happens, they should turn over one additional card and then make a balanced equation. If there is still no way to make a balanced equation another card would be turned over. Once a balanced equation is made you would replace enough cards so that the opponent starts with cards. 3 Deal again, but this time there will be more options for balanced equations, which will give an opportunity for students to come up with multiple solutions. Ask the student to identify their balanced equation. Move those cards above the other cards so the class can see that balanced equation. Use the document camera to model how to record this on the student recording sheet. Now ask the class if they see other balanced equations (see sample balanced equations in the figures below; there are additional solutions). 3 card solution card solution 4 card solution

8 they are merely moving the numbers around. At fifth and sixth grades students will encounter problems like x + 46 = + 3 where they have to solve for x. This is exactly what they have been doing. They find a sum on the right side and have to see what number can be added to 46 to get that sum. This is easier because they will always be able to balance the equation, whereas with the game they could only use the cards turned over so sometimes the equations would not balance. Direct students to a page in their textbook that you want them to do that is related to the game, or if appropriate, use the independent practice sheet included on page 11. Ensure that students understand that the game they just played involves the same skill set as the textbook/independent practice is requiring of them. Assign independent practice. Extensions: 1. Allow students to use any operation to create the balanced equation. For example, a student may use 6-3 = 1 + or x = For further practice, deal out 6 cards to each player. Turn the next two cards face up. This is the "target expression." Players must use cards in their hands to find an expression with a sum equivalent to the sum of the two cards turned over. If a player cannot make the target expression, they do not lay any cards down and miss the opportunity to score on this round. Once all members of the group have created their problems or passed, deal new cards to each player (including the people who may not have been able to play their cards) and turn over a new target expression. After 4 rounds, the players total the points from all of the balanced equations they made. Then they subtract the value of any cards remaining in their hands from that total. For example, if the player has a pink, pink 3, blue 4, and blue in their hand they determine value of the cards in their hand, which in this case would be , for a total of points. If they had laid down balanced equations totaling points they would take to determine that their overall score is 36. The player with the most points wins. 3. You can do extension number one but allow the use of other operations. 4. Use a deck of playing cards instead of the digit cards. Have students use the tens and face cards where the jack is worth 11, a queen is 1, and a king is 13.. Students can play the Balanced Equations Card Game described on page.

10 Use each number only once = Balanced Equations Demonstration Scale

11 Name Balanced Equations Number of Points for Equation One #1 = Number of Points for Equation # = Number of Points for Equation #3 = Number of Points for Equation #4 = On the back, explain how you know when an equation is balanced. Explain what you were thinking as you were working to make a balanced equation. Balanced Equations Student Recording Sheet 10

12 Name Balanced Equations Independent Practice Page Using the digits below to balance these equations n = = n n + 4 = = 40 + n. 4 + = 33 + n = n n = = 61 + n Extension Activity: Use the nine numbers at the top of the page to create your own balanced equations. Balanced Equations Independent Practice 11

13 Balanced Equations Digit Cards 1

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