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Spring SAVY 2014, Week 4 – Awesome Algebra (Kindergarten)

Posted by on Sunday, March 2, 2014 in SAVY blog.

Awesome Algebra

Spring SAVY 2014

It was another great week of SAVY with this creative, insightful group! We spent time digging a little deeper with some of our learning from previous weeks. We continued our work with patterns and used t-charts to help us predict how the pattern would continue and what would happen at different steps. We even looked at functions! For example, one pattern could be represented by B = S + 1. B represented the number of blocks, and S was the number of the step in the pattern sequence. We have the +1 because the first step was 2 blocks. Using the functions was tricky, and students relied on the t-charts to help them understand the pattern. For the students, seeing the function was an interesting, new experience.

We also made the transition from using symbols to represent unknowns to using letters like x and y. Students solved some grid puzzles where they had to solve for x and y. It is so interesting to hear students’ explanations for how they solved these problems and the strategies that they used. Next week, we will be solving more multi-step problems, and I look forward to the opportunity for more of these strategy discussions.

One thing that we have been talking about was balanced equations. We read 1 + 1 = 5 and Other Unlikely Additions by David LaRochelle. This book had some unbalanced equations like 1 + 1 = 5. When you turn the page you see a picture that says, “1 set of twins + 1 set of triplets = 5 babies.” The students loved seeing how the author played with numbers to make these equations work. We had fun creating our own equations like:

1 + 1 = 4; 1 duet + 1 duet = 4 musicians

5 + 5 = 2; 5 fingers + 5 fingers = 2 hands

The students came up with creative and humorous ideas!