We hope that everyone had an enjoyable Winter Break. We are excited to meet with everyone at our upcoming SEP Conferences. If you have not selected your appointment time please contact your child’s teacher.

Our next math unit has some new ideas for your students to learn. This unit focuses on Properties and Equations. It is a beginning of algebraic equations for our students as well as working on two-step story problems.

We start the unit by taking a multiplication problem and decomposing it into two different problems. I.e. 8 x 7 = (8 x 4) + (8 x 3). This is known as the distributive property. We will explain how we do what is in the parentheses first and then what is outside. I.e. 8 x 7 = (32) + (24). 8 x 7 = 56.

We will then move to multiplying 3 factors. I.e. 2 x (3 x 3). First we solve the problem in the parentheses 2 x (9). Then we finish the problem with the answer being 18. This will lead us to the Associative Property of Multiplication which states that the grouping of factors does not change the product.

Then we will start working on writing expressions. This is having the students read story problems and then decide what operation to use (add, subtract, multiple, or divide). Then we will evaluate expressions which means that we will put in a letter to represent a variable. I.e. 3 + S x 4. Solve if S = 2. 3 + 2 x 4. 3 + 8 (if there are no parentheses then we multiply first). 3 + 8 = 11.

The final concept will be taking these equations and use them to solve two-step story problems. For example: Orion has 48 comic books. He keeps 8 for himself and divides the rest equally among his friends. If each friend gets 8 comic books, to how many friends did he give comic books?

(48 – 8) / m = 8

(40) / m = 8

m = 5

Please let us know if you have any questions or if there is anything we can do to help your student.