Students were quick to tell me the answer was 4. I then asked them to explain why the answer was 4 and to be able to tell how they figured this out. Here are their answers

- I counted up from 5 to 9
- I subtracted 9 - 5

All perfect answers. I explained that the subtraction was the best choice because not always are we able to count up easily because of fractions, decimals, or really big numbers.

We then inserted a variable into a number sentence problem and students realized they had been thinking algebraically for a long time.

For our 1st day working on addition equations, my main goal was getting students to show their work correctly. So I showed two examples with work shown. This is what I expect to see on their homework.

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