Ordering Packages of School Supplies

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SWBAT solve multistep word problems involving long division.

Big Idea

Students will use multiple strategies and various operations to order supplies for a school.

Teacher Demonstration

30 minutes

Number Talk Routine

For today's math time, we skipped our regular Number Talk warm up routine in order to provide students with an ample amount of time to solve division problems!

Lesson Preperation

Prior to today's lesson, I created and shared the following document with my students using Google Docs: Lakeside Elementary Order Students copied the document in order to have their own editable copy.

I also gathered school supplies, such as these Markers. For each package of supplies, I created a multi-step problem involving division: Vis-a-Vis Markers Problem. I then created a product display at the front of the room: Star School Supplies. Later on, students will need to use these supplies to gather more information on the number of items in each package. 

Included in the shared document, I also created an Order Sheet for students to complete during today's lesson. 

Goal & Introduction

I began by inviting students to the front of the room. I then explained today's goal: I can solve multistep word problems involving long division. I continued: Today, we are going to wrap up our division unit by applying the strategies that we have learned so far to solve real-world problems.

Real World Application

To engage students in Math Practice 4 (Model with Mathematics), I provided a context for solving multi-step division problems: Activity Explanation.mov. To help students see how division connects with the real world, I explained how we used order forms as teachers to order supplies for our school at the beginning of the year. 

Order Sheet

I showed students the Order Sheet.png in the share document, Lakeside Elementary Order.doc and explained how to complete the order form. 

Supplies Display

Knowing that students would need to grab supplies from the Star School Supplies.JPG display, we also discussed what to do if a product is being used by another group. 

How to Solve Problems

I then explained how to solve the problems in the document by highlighting important information, solving the problem on a white board, and capturing and then inserting a picture of the white board into the Google document to justify one's thinking.

Multiple Strategies

Next, we talked about the importance of using two strategies to check the correctness of answers. Pointing to the following posters, Standard AlgorithmVerifyPartial QuotientsMoney Model, we reviewed the possible strategies that could be used. 

Student Recognition

Finally, we chose a student to watch for students engaging in the 8 Math Practices, including attending to precision, persevering, and sharing mathematical reasoning by talking about math. Alongside of being celebrated for working hard in math, the selected student will get $10 in Loraxbucks (classroom money) as a small token of appreciation. 

Student Practice

50 minutes

Choosing Partners

Picking math partners is always easy as I already have students placed in desk groups based upon behavior, abilities, and communication skills. Before students began working, I asked them to discuss how they would like to support each other today. I gave them many examples: Do you want to take turns talking out loud? Do you want to solve quietly and then check with each other? Or do you want to turn and talk anytime you get stuck? Students always love being able to develop a "game plan" with their partners! 

Monitoring Student Understanding

Once students began working, I conferenced with every group. My goal was to support students by providing them with the opportunity to explain their thinking and by asking guiding questions. I also wanted to encourage students to construct viable arguments by using evidence to support their thinking (Math Practice 3). 

  1. What do we need to do?
  2. How do you know?
  3. Does everyone agree?
  4. Can anyone explain why?
  5. What does (number) represent?
  6. Do they have to be divided evenly? 
  7. What words helped you know this?
  8. What do you need to do once you have shown your answer one way?
  9. Does that feel right?
  10. What does feel right? 


Here, a group worked together to solve the Pens Problem. I particularly enjoyed listening to the students discuss which operation to use and what the numbers represented. 

Here's another group solving the Dry Erase Markers Problem. I liked how the student interpreted the remainder by explaining that the teachers would have 4 extra markers. 

 Sometimes student-teacher conferences, served as the perfect opportunity to review strategies: Using Partial Quotients.

Completed Work

Here are a few examples of student work: