Make Math Moments Academy › Forums › MiniCourse Reflections › The Concept Holding Your Students Back › Lesson 43: Relating Addition and Subtraction – Discussion › Reply To: Lesson 43: Relating Addition and Subtraction – Discussion

This is a big part of the concept of equality and equations in Grade 5. I read in the comments that someone said their students have a lot more trouble understanding the equation when the “answer” is on the left instead of the right side of the equal sign! It is important for us to “normalize” this representation so students become more flexible in their thinking.
As we seem to be doing a lot of carrot problems in my class these days, here is one for this forum:
I had 7752 grams of carrots in my fridge in September when I harvested them. My family has begun eating them. I now have 6439 grams left. How many has our family already eaten?
7752g = t + 6439g OR 7752g – t = 6439g
I find that the student have a bit of trouble solving this type of question. They much prefer knowing the number consumed rather than the number left. Putting the variable into the equation makes solving it tricky in Grade 5! Actually these numbers are really too large to start doing equations with because they need to understand the idea of comparing with visuals before applying the concept to large numbers, so I would likely use kg with them.