Yesterday, the Kindergarten math routine videos I recorded were posted. This set of routines were so incredibly fascinating to me and completely out of my comfort zone – such an incredible learning experience. In addition to the 6 videos that are posted, there are about 12 more in my Google Drive that I had to chose between, each with its own unique student responses that would be so interesting to discuss.

With all of the videos and associated student work, I am just finding some of the work I thought I forgot to collect after the routine. This particular set of work is from the True or False Equation routine. This is probably my favorite routine in the set because it really pushes me to think about the language, recording, and understandings students have around the meaning of the equal sign.

The final equation, as anticipated, caused a bit of a controversy. Since the class was split on whether 2+3 equaled 1+4, I asked the students to explain their reasoning in their journal.

This response is reflective of the student’s experience with equations. How much do we record, or ask students to record, equations that only have three numbers? I would guess many students only see equations with two addends the majority of the time.

I liked the “same thing” and “I used my fingers” here. This is the language piece I find so interesting. What does it mean to be the same? In this case it could mean *the same amount* or *looks the same. S*he could find the amount on her fingers or the two ways of showing the expressions on each hand would look the same in the end. A small, but important distinction I think.

This student appears to have related this to the first problem in the string, seeing both as the same since 5=5.

I really like this one because of the arrangement of dots. This student seems to think of *exactly the same* as the same amount since the dots look different in the way they are drawn. The dots are great because they look the way a student would easily subitize an arrangement.

This student broke the equation apart and set each side equal to 5 and showed with circles that each side was 5.

I was inspired by this number talk to dive even further into what it means to the be the same. I brainstormed some thoughts here and then tried an activity about what it means to be the same that ended in this work: (I haven’t gotten around to a blog on this one, but will soon!)

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goldenojLOVE to see this development of the meaning of this notation in Kindergarten. More of this in elementary is good in itself, but also excellent preparation for later mathematics.

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