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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Frog and Flower Equality!

One of the ways I use my frog and flower equality cards in the classroom
I am so excited about my new spring stuff!  I have been working hard at creating some new materials to meet Common Core standards in grades 1 and 2 and keep going back to this frog and flower themed stuff.

My newest creation is an equality true/false game.  I loved the first version I created for my first graders so much, that I created more difficult versions for my second and third graders as well!

This common core standard for first grade seemed very intimidating to me. 
CCSS.Math.Content.1.OA.D.7 Understand the meaning of the equal sign, and determine if equations involving addition and subtraction are true or false. For example, which of the following equations are true and which are false? 6 = 6, 7 = 8 – 1, 5 + 2 = 2 + 5, 4 + 1 = 5 + 2.

Here is a look at the true card for level 1!

I do this with kids grade 2 and up all the time but this would be the first year of really tackling this with my first graders.  This game has really helped!  Tackling this idea early on has really made a difference.  First graders have a lot fewer pre-conceived notions about what the equals sign can and can't do.  I think the common core was spot on with putting this into first grade.  I would say my second and third graders had more confusion around ways the equals sign could be used than the first graders did.

Here is how I use them:

Choose the level of cards you want your students to work on and then choose which activity you want them to do from the list below!
-Whole class activity: Choose one true and one false equation. Show one equation to class and have them think about if it is true or false. Pair share their responses. Ask them to tell a partner if they think it is true or false and how they know they are right. Repeat with second card. Pass out remaining cards to pairs of students. When it is their turn, have them come to pocket chart and place under true or false. Have them show or explain how they know they are right. This will bring out a lot of ideas about equality and will address some misconceptions kids have.
- Partner game: After you have played the whole class version of the true/false sort, have students play it with a partner or add it to your rotation of math centers. It also makes a great warm-up or 5 minute time filler for students who need something to do.
- Hopping down the frog path. Take all 18 cards from one level (or mix the levels if you are feeling adventurous). Place them around the perimeter of your classroom (or the gym, or outside, or down the hallway) Have students take a clipboard, a pencil and a recording sheet and “Hop” down the frog path. They find any place to start and go from card to card, recording the ones they think are true under true and false under false. As kids finish, pair them up and have them discuss their answers and come to a consensus on any they disagree on. If any are tricky for many students, discuss them as a class as a wrap up.

This is what the record sheet looks like!

Want to try this with your students?  Get it here!

How are you addressing this Common core standard with your students?


  1. My firsties have always struggled with understanding number sentences when the equal sign doesn't appear in it's "normal" location. I think this common core standard is important for that reason!

    Educator Designs

    1. Hi Caroline,
      Thanks for checking out my blog! I agree that the common core standard is important for first grade! I did a little big of informal research this year into how well the kids in my school understood the equals sign and over 80% of the kids in K-6 saw it only as operational (meaning the answer is coming) and were not comfortable with seeing it as relational (one side being the same amount as the other side) Think about the trouble that could get kids into in middle school when they are trying to understand algebra and solving equations.

  2. I love this. My kids are really having a hard time when the sum comes first. They also struggle with figuring out and answering true/false questions. We use the Envision math program and these seem to match what we are doing.
    Thanks for your comments on my blog, I really appreciate it. I look forward to following you and using your amazing ideas!