WedWoPro #7 – Let’s try something different

Every Wednesday, I give a chance to my child to explore a problem a way that makes sense to her.  And every Wednesday, I share the word problem, and my experience with you, so you can do the same! Click here  to start from the beginning ! Hope you join us !

Here comes WedWoPro #7. As always, 3 levels of difficulty, green, orange and red, except that this week, the task is different from what we did in the previous WedWoPro. I mentioned previously that I am taking a class on Algebra as a graduate student in math elementary education. We recently discussed the misconceptions children may have about the symbol “=”, so I just wanted to give a chance to my daughter to explore and discuss the concept at home.


WedWoPro #7 – Something different

Here is the equation. What is the problem?

  • 3 + 5 = ___
  • ___ = 11 – 7
  • 5 + 2 = ___ + 3

We did the 3 levels, it does not take long. You can pick higher number, or different operations, but basically:

  •  level Green allowed us to warm up with reviewing the meaning of each part of the equation, the symbols. Then came a problem of 3 unicorns finding 5 more unicorns.
  • I was curious with Level orange to see if Rosie would find it “backwards”, as it may be the case with elementary students. But no, “I have 11 candies, my brother ate 7, how many candies do I have left ?”, time to move on to Level Red.
  • Level Red was quite instructive, as students with a misunderstanding of the symbols = may just add numbers and complete the blank with either 7 ( 5 + 2) or 10 (5+2+3). So Level Red gave us a chance to discuss and model what should go in the blank to make the equation true. But creating a problem that would match the equation took us a step further, as the problem had to take into account the relationship between 5 +2 and __ + 3.  We ended up with both Rosie and I having the same number of fruits, me having 5 pears and 2 apples, and Rosie having some pears and 3 apples. Next time, I expect fairies and mermaids take place of apples and pears.

Until next time !


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