Equal Sign Meaning

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The interesting lesson not only defines an equal (=) sign for students, but also offers a history of the equals sign and how it came to be the agreed upon symbol in math.  Students are reminded that the equals (=) sign is always placed between two (or more) expressions that have the same value.  Unlike other math symbols like the plus (+) sign or minus (-) sign, the equal (=) sign does not tell you to do anything, it just gives you information.

Equal Sign Meaning Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Equal Sign Meaning
  • Hands-on homework activities giving students practice
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 1-2 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

The interesting lesson not only defines an equal (=) sign for students, but also offers a history of the equals sign and how it came to be the agreed upon symbol in math.  Students are reminded that the equals (=) sign is always placed between two (or more) expressions that have the same value.  Unlike other math symbols like the plus (+) sign or minus (-) sign, the equal (=) sign does not tell you to do anything, it just gives you information.

Classroom Instruction:

  1. Begin by explaining to students that just like in sending text messages, mathematics has its own symbols that we use to stand for ideas. Draw an equal sign on the board and ask students if they recognize the symbol.  Allow for and lead a discussion until the words ‘equal sign’ are used.
  2. While reading the content pages, reinforce vocabulary and give students additional examples of problems using the equal sign.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  3. Introduce the notes on equal sign meaning. Have students practice problems that are true and false using addition and subtraction.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  4. Have students practice problems.
  5. Follow Activity page with students. Hand out a card to each student and have them find their ‘equal’.  Shuffle the cards and repeat the process several times with the class.
  6. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses as a class.
  7. Distribute the Homework page. Hang up the students equal signs that they decorated around the classroom.
  8. In closing, ask students what it means to for a math sentence to be ‘equal’.
  9. Allow for responses and discussion.

Common Core State Standards: 

CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.D.7

None for Grade 2

Class Sessions (45 minutes): 1 class session

Additional Resources: 

 Many more teaching resources in Download!

Want more math resources? Check out our other Math Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

1st Grade, 2nd Grade

Subject

Math