Monday, April 30, 2012

Basic Division

Day One – Introduction

        Pasta division is something a teacher can use to help students understand the idea of dividing among individuals. The teacher puts 30 pieces of pasta on a plate. One student comes and counts the pasta to ensure there are 30. The teacher then calls up five or six students and tells the first to give each student an equal number of pasta pieces. The student will give out one pasta piece at a time until they are all in the hands of the five or six other students. The teacher can then tell the other students to count the pieces. They should have either six if there are five students or five if there are six students. Tell the children that this is division. The pasta was divided by five or six students, which means 30 divided by the five or six equals six or five pieces of pasta each. This gives a hands-on understanding of the concept.

        * While you are walking them through this introduction, be sure to show the students on the board what this division problem looks like.  Use both signs for division – the students will be exposed to both in this unit.


            Pasta division shows students that division just means splitting up into equal groups.  We do this all the time in real life!  Ask the students if they can think of a situation in their lives where they have had to divide?  Share a couple as time allows.  Tell the students that you have gathered some situations where people have to split into equal groups or DIVIDE.  Alone or with a partner they will read the situations on the worksheets and complete it by drawing equal groups.  Gather the worksheet as data to drive instruction.
* As an extension for fast students, have them go back to each problem and write a number sentence to represent the division problem they did.
Day Two – Guided Learning
Story Division
        Teachers can incorporate both math skills and writing skills into a single lesson by giving students a project to write a three-paragraph story. The teacher gives a theme, such as two friends go to an amusement park and are given 53 tickets for bowling. The teacher then tells the students to write a short story telling how the two friends decide to divide up the tickets. This teaches students the division skills, allows them creativity, and creates a situation where the students work on problem-solving skills, since there is a remainder. Teachers can change up the story situation so students end up with even numbers, remainders or must incorporate a specific element of creativity, such as telling a funny story or telling a sad story. The teacher can allow students to share the stories as time allows.

        Do one story together and then ask students to write their own story. 

*Fast finisher- students can complete the rocket ship division coloring page.

Day Three – Division Memory Match Game

            Briefly review division (splitting into equal groups).  If students brought back their story from Tuesday allow them to share (if a lot brought them back, divide into 3-4 smaller groups to maximize sharing time).  As students read their stories, pass out the dry erase paddles and have students write the division problem from their story to practice properly forming a division problem (model on the boards as well).

After reviewing division we are going to play a game called Memory Match Division.  Students will split into pairs to play a memory game where they try to match the division problem with its matching quotient. 
* For an extra challenging game, students can play the version where one of the digits is missing and they must work backwards to find the missing number, rather than the answer.

Day Four – Division Tic-Tac-Toe and Division Test

            To prepare students for a division assessment, we will play a review game.  Divide students into pairs and have them play Division Tic-Tac-Toe.  In this game, students will complete division problems to earn a square.  If they complete a division problem correctly they get to take the square with their “x” or “o”.  Players try to get three problems correct in a row to win the tic-tac-toe. 

After they have played a couple of rounds, ask them to move back to the table to complete the division test to assess their understanding of the unit.

BONUS DAY: Give each student a calculator, and teach them how to perform the four basic functions on it.  Give each student a copy of the calculator worksheet, and emphasize that the calculator will help us with the arithmetic, but we still figure out how to solve these problems.

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