Understanding an Equal Sign

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In this lesson students will be able to understand the meaning of the equal sign and determine if two sides of an equation are the same value using addition and subtraction. Students will learn that the equal sign is a symbol that means both sides are the same. Students will practice problems balancing both sides of the equal sign.

Understanding an Equal Sign Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Understanding an Equal Sign
  • Hands-on homework activities giving students practice on comparing and contrasting Understanding an Equal Sign
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 1-3 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

Symbols are everywhere, and in this lesson students will become familiar with a symbol they will encounter repeatedly in their mathematics career, the equal sign. Students will explore the meaning of the equal sign and learn how to determine if two sides of an equation are the same value using addition and subtraction. Students will understand that the equal sign is a symbol that means both sides are equivalent. Problems to help the students practice balancing equations and gaining practical understanding of how to use the equal sign are included in the lesson.

  1. Begin by explaining to students that and equal sign is a symbol that means both sides are the same. Explain that there are lots of symbols we see each day, and each one has a different meaning.
  2. While reading the content pages, reinforce vocabulary and give students additional examples of understanding an equal sign problems in order to help them practice the new skill. Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  3. Introduce the notes on understanding an equal sign. Have students practice problems.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  4. Have students practice problems balancing both sides of the equal sign.
  5. Follow Activity page with students. Have students work individually but play the game with a partner.  Students could play in a small group of three and alternate turns.
  6. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses as a class.
  7. Distribute the Homework page. Have students work a few problems at the beginning of the next class to reinforce the meaning of the equal sign.
  8. In closing, ask students to share symbols they have seen and the meaning of the symbol.
  9. Allow for responses and discussion.

Common Core State Standards: 

CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.D.7, CCSS.Math.Content.2.OA.B.2, None for Grade 3

Class Sessions (45 minutes): 1 class

Additional Resources:

  • https://sites.google.com/a/pvlearners.net/sweigand-games/the-meaning-of-the-equal-sign
  • https://betterlesson.com/community/lesson/446280/1-oa-7-understanding-the-equal-sign
  • http://toristeachertips.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-dreaded-equal-sign.html
  • http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/02/where-the-equal-sign-came-from/
  • Many more teaching resources in Download!

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

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade

Subject

Science