Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Grade(s) 6 resources related to the following standard:
Expressions and Equations
Apply and extend previous understandings of arithmetic to algebraic expressions.
2. Write, read, and evaluate expressions in which letters stand for numbers.
a. Write expressions that record operations with numbers and with letters standing for numbers. For example, express the calculation "Subtract y from 5" as 5 — y.

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This Sketchpad activity, which opens on Geometer's Sketchpad as well as on iOS with Sketchbook Explorer (cataloged separately), allows students to use a scale to make conjectures about the properties of powers of 2 based on their observations. Students are given a random value between 1 and 63 on one side of a scale and must balance it by selecting variables whose assigned values are powers of 2 (1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and 32). A five-minute movie provides detailed instructions and downloadable PDF of teacher notes and student worksheets are also included.
Activity, Lesson Plans, Video
Grade Level: 3, 4, 5, 6+
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This Sketchpad activity, which opens on Geometer's Sketchpad as well as on iOS with Sketchbook Explorer (cataloged separately), develops early algebraic reasoning and logic skills in students by writing and analyzing inequality statements. By observing the behavior of a scale when various shapes are placed onto it, students can represent the relationships between the shapes with algebraic statements that include “greater than” or “less than” symbols. A five-minute movie provides detailed instructions and downloadable PDF of teacher notes and student worksheets are also included.
Activity, Lesson Plans, Video
Grade Level: 3, 4, 5, 6+
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This Sketchpad activity, which opens on Geometer's Sketchpad as well as on iOS with Sketchbook Explorer (cataloged separately), is the first of three balance activities in which students develop intuitive strategies for writing and solving simple algebraic equations. Students drag a shape whose numerical value is known onto one side of a scale and then drag copies of a shape with an unknown numerical value to the other side of the scale until both sides are level. Students then solve the equation to determine the value of the unknown shape. A five-minute movie provides detailed instructions and downloadable PDF of teacher notes and student worksheets are also included.
Activity, Lesson Plans, Video
Grade Level: 4, 5, 6+
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