- haven't yet mastered the English language (ESL, MLL)
- have special education needs
- struggle with reading

- can't read them
- don't know what the problem is asking
- don't know which operation to use
- are easily frustrated

Learn More About Structures of Equality

I've been where you are. You pour your heart into teaching, but word problems continue to be a stumbling block for your students. The strategies you've tried are either too complicated or limited to specific problem types. You're tired of seeing your students struggle. I was too.

I knew that if I could figure out a structure that would help them make sense of what problems were asking, they could be successful. I believe every kid deserves to be given the tools they need to succeed. That's why I developed Structures of Equality.

Read more about my journey

- Set up a diagram that matches the problem’s context
- Make sense of what the problem is asking
- Visualize story problems
- Make inferences
- Persevere

You've tried strategies for solving story problems like keywords and step-by-step methods, only to find that your students are confused and don't know what to do when it's time to work on their own.

*And at the end of the year?*

A case study on a 5th grade classroom with 28 students

*Let's set the stage. At the beginning of the year:*

- Only 8 students were expected to pass the EOG (End of Grade) test*
- 14 students had less than a 50% chance of passing
- Teacher provided consistent and explicit instruction in SoE
- 7 students had SoE instruction in previous grades

- 27 students passed the EOG
- 21 passed with a 4 or higher

- 27 students exceeded expected growth
- Of the 7 who had previous SoE instruction, 5 scored a 5. All passed.

*Based on EVAAS data. EVAAS is a software system that uses historical data to predict expected growth and proficiency scores.

Repeated Equal Groups

It's confusing when your students have too many options to choose from. Or only 1 strategy that they overgeneralize. You need simplicity.

SoEs can be used to diagram any problem found in the elementary NC Standard Course of Study.

Parts Equal Total

Compare

Example: There are 4 bags with 2 oranges in each bag. How many oranges are there in all?

Example: Ms Felder has 8 balloons. Three are red. The rest are yellow. How many balloons are yellow?

Example: There are 5 blue cars and 3 white cars in the parking lot. How many more blue cars are there than white cars in the parking lot?

LEARN MORE ABOUT SoEs

*WCPSS SPED Teacher*

"For years, I saw the lack of understanding about the relationships between numbers in a given problem blocking their growth.

Structures of Equality prevents this – students must actually see the relationship between the numbers and represent it in consistent, taught, visual structures. From there, the logic of how to solve the problem often becomes apparent. Students are excited to understand why the calculation makes sense and enjoy telling the reasoning behind their solution.”

Sign up to get free resources right to your inbox

Join my email list and be the first to know about new resources