Tips for Teaching Simple Equations in Elementary School

Teaching simple equations to elementary school children can be challenging, but with the right approach and tools we can turn it into a rewarding experience.

Equations are like mathematical puzzles and learning to solve them from an early age lays the foundation for future success in math. In this post, we will explain some practical tools and activities to make learning simple equations engaging and, above all, fun!

As we have discussed in previous posts, teaching math to younger children can be challenging due to the difficulty of understanding abstract concepts at earlier ages. This, coupled with an overly theoretical approach and the lack of interactive resources that make learning more engaging, can lead to a lack of motivation in students. This lack of interest can lead children to think that math is boring and difficult.

What can we do to make math more attractive to students?

Learning based on real-life situations: Creating stories or posing problems from everyday life that require using equations to solve them helps children understand the usefulness of mathematics in a meaningful context. For example, “If John has 5 apples and after eating some he has 2 left, how many apples did he eat?”

Gamification: Incorporating educational platforms and interactive games in class is essential to support a more accessible learning experience for students. Gamification can motivate students to actively engage in learning.

Visual models and clear explanations: Show children how to solve equations step-by-step using visual models and simplified explanations. Start with simple equations and gradually progress to more complex problems as students gain confidence. Emphasize the importance of understanding each step of the equation-solving process, and encourage active participation by asking questions and eliciting student input.

Equations with addition and subtraction for children

In an equation, we have constants and variables. Variables are the unknowns, which are usually represented by letters like X. In order to find the value of x, we use mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication or division.

In Smile and Learn you can find a multitude of visual resources to support math lessons and interactive activities to practice the equations. Elementary school students have different levels of cognitive development and mathematical skills. Therefore, Smile and Learn activities have different levels of difficulty to adapt to the individual abilities and needs of each student.

In this video we propose a simple and visual explanation of what equations are and how to solve them:

YouTube video

If you found this post interesting, don’t miss these other articles with tips and resources to make learning math easier and more fun:

How to teach kids to add and subtract

Tips for teaching multiplication and division

At Smile and Learn we have a multitude of educational resources that will help kids learn mathematical concepts such as equations. In addition, in our app you will find more than 12,500 activities that cover all school subjects, develop key competencies and much more!

If you haven’t tried our educational platform yet, you can do so for free by filling out the form below.

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