Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding A Remainder of One: Practicing Box Method - Section 3: Game time!


This is a complex process! One of the most difficult parts of this transition is getting used to the idea of diverse entry points into the problems. Prior to Common Core, I was  trained to be such a mathematical "this is how you do it" teacher, that this process felt really uncomfortable at first. It is especially hard if parents aren't on board. I begin dialogue with them at conferences in the fall about this process and explain that Common Core will be an adventure in understanding.

Today, I could see students progress before my very eyes. But the painful process of learning to use notes, referring to vocabulary, referring to models, dialogue, talking through and being sure each question I posed was going to pull them forward, is exhausting.But it's worth so much more than just teaching an algorithm. I have learned that well.

I heard happy sounds in my class today. I heard rich questions both to me and to their partners, and thinking out loud about numbers, factors, dividing and getting it right. The idea that they would earn points pushed competitive buttons in them and drove the higher end students to 3 digit by 1 digit problems.

Game playing works really well in this process. It also freed me up to notice things I wouldn't if I had just given them worksheets. I saw number sense. I could tell if they could choose to put the numbers in the correct places in their boxes and understand dividend, divisor, and quotient. We talked about what the quotient really means.

I would miss all of this if we just teach an algorithm. I would cheat them of the experience of the depth of understanding division if it weren't for Common Core.


  This is just too fun...
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: This is just too fun...
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A Remainder of One: Practicing Box Method

Unit 9: Division Unit
Lesson 4 of 21

Objective: SWBAT divide two and/or three digit numbers by one digit using rectangular sections (or a "box method" ).

Big Idea: In this lesson students learn about the meaning of a remainder through a whimsical book, "A Remainder of One" and playing games with a choice of dice, dominoes or playing cards to create their division problems.

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Math, division, picture books, Rectangular sections, Games, number and
  60 minutes
a remainder of
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