Teaching expressions and equations is one of the most important, and the most challenging, topics in middle school math.
But love them or hate them, there’s no getting around them. The Expressions and Equations domain contains the most important standards in 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade.
And students who are proficient with algebraic expressions have more success with other middle school standards, like proportions, integers, functions, and more. Expressions are also essential for success in high school Algebra.
The activities you’ll learn in this workshop will make teaching expressions and equations engaging and effective. You’ll also learn how to teach with expressions and equations. All the resources and activities can all be modified to teach integers, decimal operations, percents, variables, and more!
Teaching Expressions and Equations in Middle School
This secret to teaching expressions and equations in middle is the number sentence proof.
Too often, we ask our students to fill-in-the-blank, or solve for x. These questions are easy to correct, but they don’t build conceptual understanding or a passion for math.
With number sentence proofs, you’ll engage, challenge, and support all your students. They’ll develop their algebraic reasoning, while mastering all your grade level standard. They’ll learn new concepts faster, and they’ll retain what they’ve learn for years to come.
How Number Proofs Work
A number proof starts with a completed equation. Students first figure out if the equation is true or false. Then, they prove their answer with both calculation and reasoning. Here are some examples:
- 0.25 x 4 = 1 [true]
- 4 (3 + 6) = (4 x 3) + (4 x 6) [true]
- 3 – 4 = 4 – 3 [false]
Number proofs create great opportunities for collaborative inquiry and mathematical discussion.
Once your students have mastered closed number proofs, they can move on to open number proofs. Open proofs have variables, and can be always true, sometimes true, or never true:
- x + x = 2x [always true]
- x + 1 = x [never true]
- 16 – x = 10 [sometimes true]
Students can complete this activity again and again, as they learn about integers, variables, operations, exponents, or pretty much any elementary math standard.
So stop wondering if you’re teaching expressions and equations the right way. Enroll today for the teaching strategies and resources that will make your students love to develop their algebraic reasoning. We’ll go step-by-step over how to plan and teach an inquiry-based, number proofs lesson.
Teaching Expressions and Equations in Middle School consists of four 90-minute sessions. Each session is conducted in real time, with a live facilitator. You’ll solve problems and engage in discussions with fellow educators.
As a participant, you’ll learn to harness the power of algebraic equations, and you’ll receive your own copies of all the print and digital resources to bring what you learn back to your classroom the very next day!
Session 1: Closed Number Proofs – Learn the basics of number proofs. Put on your “student hat” and challenge yourself to prove challenging number sentences.
Session 2: Open Number Proofs – Introducing letter variables makes always, sometimes, never proofs more powerful and challenging.
Session 3: Aligning to Standards – Design and solve number proofs that support your grade level standards.
Session 4: Planning and Assessment – Learn to plan and teach collaborative, inquiry-based lessons using expressions and equations. Assess conceptual understanding with rubrics, projects, and portfolios.
Save Your Seat
Enrollment is open to all elementary school teachers, administrators, instructional coaches, tutors, and homeschool parents.
For more on teaching with scale models, read our article, Proving Number Sentences: The #1 Way to Build Algebraic Reasoning.
For more information on any of our workshops contact us at [email protected]
If your school or district is interested in group pricing or custom professional development packages, schedule a free consultation with one of our education consultants.
We accept payment by credit card or purchase order. To register by PO, choose Purchase Order as your payment method at checkout. Please include contact information for your school or district business office.
About the Presenter
Jeff Lisciandrello is a curriculum designer and educational technology consultant specializing in student- centered instruction. He has over 15 years experience as a classroom teacher and instructional coach. In Jeff’s workshops, you won’t just hear about differentiation and inquiry-based learning: You’ll experience them first-hand. Find him on Twitter @EdTechJeff