Over the weekend my daughter and her dad got into a conversation about equations and how what is on the one side always balances with the other side. She actually jumped onto the idea and ended up asking more and more questions. I was so impressed how a chat between father and daughter ended up being this amazing Maths session.
So this week I thought it would be good to go over the equation chat with her and use some visual tools just to make sure she really understood everything. We started off really simple. 10 snap cubes = 10 snap cubes. So if we add 2 more snap cubes onto side of the equation is it still balanced ? If not what do we need to do ? We need to add 2 snap cubes on the other side as well.
What if we subtracted 5 snap cubes from one side ? Do the two side still match ? No so we need to subtract 5 from the other side as well.
Keeping with the idea that the two sides must always be balanced we then broke it down into sums. Instead of saying 10 = 10 how else can we represent it. If 10 = 5 + 5 and if 10 = 8+2 then we can also say 5+5 =8+2. Are the two sides still balanced ? Does it make a difference if we write a total or a sum ?
She quickly branched off and created a whole series of equations showing which two sums can be equal. According to my daughter what makes the most sense for her is when we speak about balancing the two sides (like a see-saw what is on one side must be the same as the other side so that see-saw is balanced. If one side is more than the see-saw would not be balanced).
And last night I noticed a few pieces of paper on her desk all with different equations on. Equations that she had written out just because she wanted too, no-one asked, it was not part of any “learning activity” I had set. She was just practicing writing out some equations.
I am thrilled that she is starting to see Maths as something that she can understand.