# Solving Equations

**Strand:** Patterns and Relations (Variables and Equations)

**Outcomes:** 5, 6

## Step 3: Plan for Instruction

### Guiding Questions

- What learning opportunities and experiences should I provide to promote learning of the outcomes and permit students to demonstrate their learning?
- What teaching strategies and resources should I use?
- How will I meet the diverse learning needs of my students?

### A. Assessing Prior Knowledge and Skills

Before introducing new material, consider ways to assess and build on the students' knowledge and skills related to solving one-step addition and subtraction equations involving symbols representing an unknown number.

Ways to Assess and Build on Prior Knowledge

### B. Choosing Instructional Strategies

Consider the following general strategies for teaching the use of equations involving a symbol to represent an unknown number.

- Build on the students' knowledge from the previous grade in using equations to write addition and subtraction equations.
- Connect the concrete, pictorial and symbolic representations consistently as the students develop and demonstrate understanding of equations.
- Use everyday contexts for problems that the students can relate to so that they can translate the meaning of the problem into an appropriate equation using a symbol to represent the unknown number.
- Provide a variety of problems for the students to express as equations. Include problems that illustrate the various types of addition and subtraction (e.g., change, part–part–whole and comparison) as well as multiplication and division (e.g., of equal sharing, equal grouping, comparison problems and combination).
- Review the relationship between addition and subtraction number sentences as well as the relationship between multiplication and division number sentences.
- Have the students create problems for a variety of number sentences illustrating addition and subtraction, including examples of change, part–part–whole and comparison problems.
- Have the students create problems for a variety of number sentences illustrating multiplication and division, including examples of equal sharing, equal grouping, comparison problems and combination problems.
- Encourage the students to write equations in various ways to represent the meaning of a given problem.
- Include examples of equations in which the unknown is on the left or the right side of the equation.
- Emphasize that the equal sign is a symbol of equivalence or balance of the two quantities on either side of the equation.

### C. Choosing Learning Activities

Learning Activities are examples of activities that could be used to develop student understanding of the concepts identified in Step 1.

Teaching Students to Express a Given Problem as an Equation Using a Symbol to Represent an Unknown Quantity |
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Teaching Students to Solve One-step Equations Involving a Symbol to Represent an Unknown Quantity |
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