Saturday, September 17, 2011

Equivalent Equations

Another Math concept that can be tricky to get a hold of is equivalent equations.  I started introducing this concept to my kids in Guided Math small groups.  I had each child take out their red and blue linking cubes and a die.  I instruct my students to roll the die once.  Each student would then count out the number of red cubes he/she rolled.  The students then rolled the die again and counted out that number of blue cubes.  Using the cubes they counted out, the student would then write a number sentence on a white board. 

For the next step I went around the group asking the students what their sums were.  If anyone rolled the same sum, we would write their number sentence on my white board on opposing sides of the equal sign (ex.  If 2 students got the sum of 7, we would write their sentences on my board  as  4 + 3 = 2 + 5,)  We repeated these steps until the students got the hang of it.  Soon they could answer the question, "Does anyone have equivalent equations?"

Sometimes I get out the balance and have students compare their linked cubes on opposite ends of the balance to prove that they are the same value. This is also great at a center.

This week I had the students practice the same idea from small group in a center.  They rolled 2 dice, and found the sum.  Then they recorded the addition sentence on a recording sheet which is divided based on the sum.  Any equations written in the same sum box is an equivalent equation!

Click on the link below to get my recording sheet for this center's activity!  It's FREE!


  1. I love this idea! Thank you so much. I use my cubes for lots of great math games. The kids have a better time when they can see the colors.

    1st in Maine


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