Warm-Up: Solving for the Unknown

Hi First Graders! We are going to use this Jamboard to review what we learned yesterday. Every student should have received a link to their own personal Jamboard in their email before class. For this activity, move the correct sticky notes to be on top of the ? in each of the equations. Once you are done, privately message Ms. Carbary a number from 1-5 stating how confident you feel with your answers. (1 being not at all confident and 5 being super confident). You will NOT use all of the sticky notes! Create pictures on a scratch piece of paper to help you solve each problem.


Learning Targets:

  • I can solve for the unknown number in an equation by using drawings to represent my thinking.
  • I can explain why the order of whole numbers does not matter in an addition problem. (example: 6+3=3+6) by imagining if the question marks and the numbers switched places in the equation.

Goals From the Teachers Perspective

  • Inspired by the 1st grade Common Core Standards listed below.

Determine the unknown whole number in an addition or subtraction equation relating three whole numbers. For example, determine the unknown number that makes the equation true in each of the equations 8 + ? = 11, 5 = _ – 3, 6 + 6 = _.

Apply properties of operations as strategies to add and subtract.2 Examples: If 8 + 3 = 11 is known, then 3 + 8 = 11 is also known. 

  • This Jamboard activity gives students the chance to practice their skills and show their work by creating illustrations on a scratch piece of paper.
  • Students can easily move around the sticky notes to correct their thinking.
  • This format will also help understand that what they are solving for in a math problem can be anywhere in the equation, it does not have to be on one side of the equal sign each time.
  • This activity is a fun, easy, and environmentally friendly way for the teacher to understand where his/her/their students are at!
  • Once students are done, they are asked to express their comfort levels to the teachers, which is a great informal assessment for immediate feedback.

4 Replies to “Warm-Up: Solving for the Unknown”

  1. Hi Rachel, this looks awesome! If I was a first grader I would love this activity. I think it is a creative way to provide the students with an answer bank. I think I might use this with my 7th graders when we are combining like terms.

  2. Excellent demo of Jamboard superpowers! You’ve created a very manageable task for 1st graders. Fun color scheme. Plus they will like getting to shuffle the sticky notes around. I like that there are some extra numbers to increase the challenge.

    Well documented post with CCSS. I never thought about the “environmentally friendly way” Jamboard delivers. Good observation.

  3. HI Rachel! I think this activity is so fun and creative. I really liked how you specified the common core goals and went beyond just stating what you wanted them to do. I will definitely be using this in my classroom in the future if you let me!

  4. Hi Rachel!

    I love this activity! It is fun, engaging and eye catching! It is perfect for first-graders! I have a few questions on how you might monitor students data. Would student’s also make a copy of the Jamboard for their individual work? Would it be one Jamboard they all work on? How would you see their work?

    Those are just questions I found myself asking as I looked at this assignment. I love it, and could see myself doing something similar with my third graders.

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