For the past month we have been amping up our work on thinking, reasoning, and problem solving. Each of our math warm ups has had students justifying their thinking along with demonstrating their numeric abilities. In addition, we have continued to explore legal moves in our Hands-On Equations curriculum, with most 4th and 5th grade students now on Lesson 5 or 6. In practical terms this means they can solve algebraic equations such as 5x + 3 = 3x + 9 by simplifying: removing a blue pawn (x) from each side of the equation, allowing them to maintain balance (to keep the values equal). To further simplify, they are learning how to remove numerals of equal value from each side of the equation, allowing the equation to remain in balance. These are sophisticated concepts for young learners. We used the free program educreations to capture our thinking and reasoning, in our own words: