We have two great activities for numerical expressions today! We learned about numerical expressions already, but I didn't feel like I covered it deep enough. The Common Core is all about going deep with the concepts and really applying them to their lives. We began by practicing oral expressions and displaying them numerically on their slates. Here are some examples:

Twice a number, decreased by twenty-nine

Five times a number

*y*increased by 3
Multiply three by two, then subtract one

Once we did enough practice and most of the kids had caught on consistently, we moved toward some independent work. They didn't have a lot of problems, just ten, and most were asking the kids to analyze the expressions without evaluating them. As they finished, there was an assignment on the projector waiting for them: our performance assessment. I always find that if I ask them to write their own problem, I can really see if they understand what's going on.

**The CCSS is: 5.OA2: Write simple expressions that record calculations with numbers, and interpret numerical expressions without evaluating them.**

The performance assessment asked them to create their own real world problem that could use an expression, write the expression, and draw a picture to match. Being able to see math in REAL LIFE situations AND create their own problems is a HUGE skill that is SO important! Here were some of the final products:

A basketball game ticket cost $17. Hot dogs are $5.00. If Molly and 6 friends go and all get hot dogs, how much money will they spend? --Submitted by Molly K. |

A ticket to the school dance costs 15 dollars. A picture costs 10 dollars. El and three friends each buy a ticket and each get a picture taken. How much did they spend? --submitted by Shante J. |

Next, I had a challenge for them. I found this idea on K-5 Math Teaching Resources, except I modified it for our purposes. The task was to use only the digit 4 (the original says only four 4's, but we just stuck to 4s) to create problems equaling the numbers 1-12 so that you could place those numbers on a blank clock face. Once they figured out a couple (4/4=1, and so on), they were unstoppable! It was one of those classes where kids asked "can I finish this over the weekend??" even when it wasn't a required assignment! Check out some of their clocks!!

Truly, they learned the most from having to write their own problems. We did a similar activity with division back in December, and I will definitely incorporate this task more next year! It's just a great way to really see how they look at and see problems! Hope you enjoyed!

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