. Grade 1, Illustrative icon

Using lengths to represent equality

Illustrative MathematicsVaries

The act of trying to find equal lengths with the rods helps students develop a physical understanding for the meaning of equality. Students are more likely to generate and understand complex equalities than they would be able to do only abstractly. A variation that would help scaffold students from physical objects to drawings would be to have them draw a color-matched picture of their Cuisenaire rods on graph paper in addition to writing the equation. For example, a student might draw the following picture for the example given in the task statement: One variation may include having the teacher choose one (larger) Cuisenaire rod.

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