I need to review the symbols: +, -, and = with my students. I have several students who are still struggling with what each of these symbols are called and when to use them. I will pre-cut index cards into 3 separate pieces and give each student the 3 pieces. I will ask them to write a minus sign on one, a plus sign on another, and an equals sign on another. Then I will proceed with the following requests and questions:
I will ask my students to look at their neighbors' answers and discuss as I walk the room. Students will be checking each others answers and this will help me check everyone's understanding. Also, it will encourage the students to discuss each others choices and ensure accuracy.
First graders often mix the = symbol with + and -. I have been teaching addition for 6 days now and I still have a few students that look at a + sign and say equals and vice-versa. This lesson helps students practice using the equals sign and gives them the opportunity to examine a problem to decide if it is true or false (1.OA.D.7). The terms "true" and "false" are new to first graders, and I know I must provide direct instruction and relate them to terms they know, "right" and "wrong/incorrect."
I will begin this lesson by reminding my students what the = (equals) symbol represents and how we use it. Students must learn that symbols are used to represent a problem. My students began using it during our comparing numbers unit and should have a good idea, but I know I will have a few that need a reminder.
I will begin with writing the following problem on the board:
I will use this problem as a starting point for my discussion that whatever is on either side of the equals sign, the other side must be the same. This problem will be easy to point this out because they are not identical numbers. This statement is false. Next, I will write:
This will help me point out that, now, on the left side of the sign, these numbers add to 7, and on the right side is a 7, so they are equal. This statement is true.
I will show more true and false examples:
While I present these problems I will change my wording and ask students both, "are they equal?" and "is it true/is it false?" I will have them help me solve these problems by using our fingers or class number line to find the answers.
I will write "true" or "false" next to the problems on the board when they answer me and point out that "true" starts with a T and "false" starts with an F. This will prepare them for our independent practice portion of today's lesson.
My students need lots of practice in thinking about addition problems and deciding if they are right or wrong. My whole group interaction piece will have taught my students right or wrong also means true or false. We talked about how true starts with a T and false starts with an F. Now we get to play a game.
The game of "Scoot" can be created for any topic and what I really like about it, is it gets them up and moving and provides multiple problems to solve. You can create as many problems as you like, and, in my case, I created one for every child in the room: 24. The game consists of 24 cards that I place at different spots around the classroom. I position each child at one card with their recording sheet (Scoot Addition T or F). The recording sheet will have a corresponding number to each card in the room. The student will look at the card in front of them and solve the problem on the card and record their answer in the correct box on their sheet. They will show me their sign that they are finished (usually hands on head). When I have everyone ready, I will give my signal that it is time to "Scoot," and they will move to another card.
I will begin by picking three cards and showing my students how each card was labeled with a number. The students must find the corresponding number on their recording sheet. We will discuss the problem and decide together if it is T or F. Then we will write the answer in that square. If this is enough practice, I will allow them to begin "scooting" (watch the video, Student playing scoot, as we begin our first game of Scoot; also, you can look at the Student Answer Sheets to see student recording sheets that portray a variety of understanding of this standard). If I continue to see students struggling with the game instructions or solving problems I will assign him or her a partner to scoot with.
A good point here will be to give them a signal to use when they are done recording their answer, or you will not know when you can have them scoot again. I will have them put their hands on their head when they are finished with each problem. Also, you may want to have a plan for what direction you want your kids to move in. My plan is for students to rotate around their group's desks then I will switch them with another group and rotate there until they have went to every group.
I want to give my students an opportunity to summarize their learning, and I want to hear in their words what they learned today. I will ask my students to turn to their neighbor and explain what an equals sign is and how do we use it. I will be walking around and listening to my students explanations.