Reflection: Continuous Assessment Quotients - Just the Basics - Section 3: Independent Practice


In this lesson, it’s important to look out for students struggling with the idea of splitting up a number into equal parts / groups.  I am always surprised when I see a confused student, because I feel that our work with multiplication should have made the move to division almost second nature.  For some of them, it is, but many of them still perceive it as a separate process.  In the past, I attributed this to the curriculum we used. 

Now that I am creating my own lessons and, I thought, trying to move fluidly back and forth between the concepts of multiplication and division, I was startled to see that a few students remained perplexed.  In reflecting on my practice, I think that next year I should be explicit in using the word division right from the start, instead of demonstrating it in models and discussing how it’s related to multiplication.  To assist these students, I retold several of their practice equations in story form.  This helped students apply the strategy more comfortably.  I don’t know why, but am wondering if this is a developmental roadblock that I just need to support them through until their brain is ready for this particular abstraction?

This is the first year that I’ve planned lessons with explicit attention to mathematical practices.  In this lesson, the goal was to engage students in attending to precision.  Attending to precision refers to a lot more than obtaining the correct answer to a mathematical calculations, but in thei particular lesson, I am focusing on that simple but essential task.

Often students will rush ahead when they think they understand something and they end up misapplying the rule or simply miscounting.  There are a few examples of this in the student work sample document.  There is no sound reason for children to make errors, particularly when the problems have such small dividends.  This is an example of a lesson in which it’s okay and important to stress to students that precision with these basic facts is attainable if models are used strategically.  If they do not rush, they can all succeed with these basic facts that are at the root of all higher mathematics. 

  Continuous Assessment: Attending to Precision with Basic Facts
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Quotients - Just the Basics

Unit 4: Introduction to Basic Division
Lesson 4 of 6

Objective: SWBAT use drawings to find the quantity unknown in division problems with dividends no larger than 30.

Big Idea: Just like multiplication, addition, and subtraction, division problems involve patterns and there are methodical ways in which manipulatives can be used to solve division problems with small dividends and divisors of 1 through 10.

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