Holiday Stroll with Multiplication and Division

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SWBAT solve multi-digit multiplication and division word problems.

Big Idea

Students use their multiplication and division skills to solve holiday themed problems.

Warm Up

5 minutes

For this warm up, I ask students to solve a four digit dividend divided by a one digit divisor.  As students solve, I am monitoring and observing them work.  Based on their speed and ability to solve the problem, I make last minute partner changes for today's activity in this lesson. 

Individual whiteboards are a great way to hold all students in the class accountable for the work.  They actively involve students in the learning and are a terrific tool in the formative assessment process because they give the teacher immediate information about student learning.  When students complete their work and hold their whiteboard up, I can quickly determine who is understanding and who needs help and adjust my instruction accordingly. 

Based off of this white-boarding assessment, I rearranged several of the learning partners.  I didn't want students that are working a slower pace to work with a partner that was completing problems in a much quicker process.  This would only cause frustration for both students during the lesson's activity in the concept development of this lesson. 


In the following video, you can see my student's solving a division problem.  Notice that after about minute only a few students are "showing" their whiteboards.  This was also a good reminder for me that just because students are getting correct quotients when solving, they still aren't necessarily quick or fluent with the process of expanded notation or other division strategies.

Concept development

50 minutes

Students work with their learning partner in today's lesson.  Students have spent the last 6 lessons practicing skills and the procedures for division. For this lesson it was important to me that I provide students with opportunities to apply their division skills within a context. I used holiday themed word problems and began by cutting the problems in this ChristmasMultiplicationDivisionStoryWordProblems.pdf packet.

I glued each problem to a red piece of paper and then scattered the papers around the classroom. Students worked to solve all 15 problems with their learning partner. Students chose which problem they started with and then moved to another problem when they had finished solving.  I like using this type of rotation because if students need more or less time on a particular problem, they are not waiting for me to tell them to rotate.  Giving my students this choice also seems to engage them and provide an intrinsic motivation to finish.




In this video a student talks about how division made sense for a problem. 

Student debrief - Wrap up

5 minutes

To end this lesson, I lead a brief discussion with students about correct answers and strategies. Because  there isn't enough time to discuss strategies used for each problem, I ask several student volunteers to tell their favorite problem and how he/she solved the problem.