# “same idea, different name” — little more info

Posted on October 21, 2014

Before the long part, one thing that one of my students invented that I share to do is to draw a little jiggly line down the page from the equals sign where students would be writing the steps.   I also dramatize the idea of it being like a “balance.”   I know a teacher who has students draw a little “scale” icon over the = sign but I think the jiggly line is better.

Oopsy I forgot I have a nice powerpoint about it here http://www.resourceroom.net/mec/ChapterOne/equals.html

Which is nice to watch because I do, rather, like it.   So I need to be makin’ the Camtasia version.  Sorry app of doom.  You can ride in the back for a while.

The longer part:

The intro is explaining that you can refer to *exactly* the same thing with a different name; so that you’re name = the name on your driver’s license = nickname.  You know, the same way that when two non-primitive variables are set as equal, they may have different names but they refer to the same address in computer memory 🙂   Okay, I wouldn’t use that with my math students…

Exercise one has students writing different names for themselves w/ an = sign ebtween them.

Then lots of examples are given of things grouped differently that come out to the same amount.   There’s a circle with seven apples just laid out in it, and another circle with them clumped as “3 + 3 + 1.”

Then she has students use one hand to make a group of 5 fingers; so there’s only one way to do that… have ’em all up.

But what if you used 2 hands?   you could do 4 + 1, 3 + 2… What about 3 hands?

Then showed drawings of equal amounts of things, with a big ol’ circle around them, and also a circle with the number five… and then they all got = signs between them.

She goes on with some more multisensory things (making a circle with arms around a group of things, etc)… and has students make as many ways of making 5 with three groups as they can (3 + 1 + 1 = 2 + 2 + 1 = ….)

*Then* she shows the same idea with piles of candy bars… “Different name, same thing” is the mantra.