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# One-step Equations

Strand: Patterns and Relations (Variables and Equations)
Outcomes: 2, 3

## 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 students' knowledge and skills related to counting.

### B. Choosing Instructional Strategies

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

• Build on students' knowledge from the previous grade in using equations with symbols to write addition, subtraction, multiplication and division equations.
• Discuss the similarities between using a symbol such as to represent an unknown in an equation and using a letter variable such as n.
• Connect the concrete, pictorial and symbolic representations consistently as students develop and demonstrate their understanding of equations.
• Use everyday contexts for problems that students can relate to so that they can translate the meaning of the problem into an appropriate equation using a letter variable to represent the unknown number.
• Provide a variety of problems for 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; e.g., n + 7 = 12, 7 + b = 15, 17 = r – 8, 48 = 6c.
• Emphasize that the equals sign is a symbol of equivalence or balance of the two quantities on either side of the equation.
• Use balance scales to represent the equation concretely and focus on the meaning of the equal sign.

### 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 Story Translations for Addition and Subtraction Problems Download Activities Story Translations for Multiplication and Division Problems Download Activities Creating Problems from Equations Download Activities