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Gr. 3 Unit: Solve Problems Involving the Four Operations, & Identify and Explain Patterns in Arithmetic

Unit Overview

This unit builds on the students’ knowledge and ability to apply the properties of all four operations as well as strategies for those operations to solve two-step word problems. They will write equations to show their solutions. Those equations will include a letter which, for the first time, represents the unknown in the equation. The letter replaces the box or question mark that has been used in prior grades. Students will identify and use arithmetic patterns to justify their solutions. Students will also assess the reasonableness of their answers using mental computation and estimation strategies, including rounding.

Essential Questions:

  • Why do I need mathematical operations?
  • How do mathematical operations relate to each other?
  • How is thinking algebraically different from thinking arithmetically?
  • How do I use algebraic expressions to analyze or solve problems?
  • How do the Properties of Operations contribute to algebraic understanding?
  • What is meant by equality?
  • What do I know from the information shared in the problem? What do I need to find?
  • How do I know which computational method (mental math, estimation, paper and pencil, and calculator) to use?
  • How do you solve problems using any of the four operations in real world situations?
  • What are some strategies for solving unknowns in open sentences and equations?
  • How do you estimate answers using rounding to the greatest place?
  • How can you decide that your calculation is reasonable?

A question is essential when it stimulates multi-layered inquiry, provokes deep thought and lively discussion, requires students to consider alternatives and justify their reasoning, encourges re-thinking of big ideas, makes meaningful connections with prior learning, and provides students with opportunities to apply problem-solving skills to authentic situations.

Unit Lesson

Additional information such as Teachers Notes, Enduring Understandings,Content Emphasis by Cluster, Focus Standards, Possible Student Outcomes, Essential Skills and Knowledge Statements and Clarifications, and Interdisciplinary Connections can be found in this Lesson Unit.

Available Model Lesson Plans

The lesson plan(s) have been written with specific standards in mind. Each model lesson plan is only a MODEL - one way the lesson could be developed. We have NOT included any references to the timing associated with delivering this model. Each teacher will need to make decisions related ot the timing of the lesson plan based on the learning needs of students in the class. The model lesson plans are designed to generate evidence of student understanding.

This chart indicates one or more lesson plans which have been developed for this unit. Lesson plans are being written and posted on the Curriculum Management System as they are completed. Please check back periodically for additional postings.

CCSC Alignment: 3.OA.8

This is intended to be an introductory lesson for the Standard 3.0A.8. The activities focus on strategies that could be employed to solve two-step problems (the first half of the Standard). The lesson does not address the use of mental computation and estimation, including rounding, in justifying solutions (the second half of the Standard). Those topics will be covered in future lessons. The amount of time that should be spent on each activity is dependent upon the needs of the students.

Available Model Lesson Seeds

The lesson seed(s) have been written with specific standards in mind. These suggested activity/activities are not intended to be prescriptive, exhaustive, or sequential; they simply demonstrate how specific content can be used to help students learn the skills described in the standards. Seeds are designed to give teachers ideas for developing their own activities in order to generate evidence of student understanding.

This chart indicates one or more lesson seeds which have been developed for this unit. Lesson seeds are being written and posted on the Curriculum Management System as they are completed. Please check back periodically for additional postings.

CCSC Alignnment: 3.OA.8

Students will use estimation and mental math and to solve a two-step word problem.

CCSC Alignnment: 3.OA.9

Students will observe and identify important numerical patterns related to operations, and explain why these patterns make sense mathematically.

CCSC Alignnment: 3.OA.9

Students will observe and identify important numerical patterns related to operations, and explain why these patterns make sense mathematically.

CCSC Alignnment: 3.OA.9

Students will observe and identify important numerical patterns involving multiplication, and explain why these patterns make sense mathematically.