Reflection: Writing Across the Disciplines Ants, Ants, Ants! Using discovery to understand the meaning of division. - Section 6: Closing and Homework


We shared our writing the next day in writing class. I was pleased with the thorough explanations addressing the questions. No one talked about division! I am concluding that they aren't able to think about it quite like I wanted them to just yet.

 In all of the writings, they demonstrated varied logical reasoning for using the tool they did and showed me their thinking behind creating small clusters of numbers they could count and multiply using arrays and know that they had divided the whole mat up, firstly.

The first example does not mention multiplying to get her answer. No mention of dividing up the ants into sections. But, the paper is good effort in explaining her reasoning. However, the paragraph and what she says is good progress in explaining for this student. Great writing about her choice....

The second writing talks about creating what we have referred to in the past as a "fast array" where you count the dots in the length and width and then multiply them. He  connected this strategy and because he has mastered multiplication using an area model, he was able to do this! However, no mention of division is there. He chose the string shows connection of advanced thinking and application of prior knowledge.

This little film clip shows some creative language from this student and a level of confidence I like to see in talking about  math. He is uninhibited, and he tries hard to be thorough too. However, again is no mention of division.Sharing our writing...

Our discussion is really the only proof I have they they were considering division as part of their ant counting experience. Perhaps I didn't emphasize the pulling apart of the whole enough in my guidance or perhaps the thought was lost in the process as they came back to the comfortable world of arrays.

  Writing Across the Disciplines: Student Work
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Ants, Ants, Ants! Using discovery to understand the meaning of division.

Unit 9: Division Unit
Lesson 2 of 21

Objective: SWBAT understand that dividing means breaking apart a given amount into equal portions and use strategies and tools to problem solve.

Big Idea: In this discovery lesson, pairs of students are given a sheet with thousands of ants on it. They will choose the best "tool" to figure out how to count all of the ants on the page.

  Print Lesson
Math, Hands on Activity, division, number and
  65 minutes
ants ants
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