Reflection: Diverse Entry Points The Circus Problem - Section 4: Student Work Time and Share


I found during this lesson that the most effective modeling was when I truly acted it out-every little step. I took out the 2 cubes that floated away and had the child make them float a little above the 6 left over. Then we acted it out, making the 2 balloons start in the "clown's hands" and then float above the other balloons. I'd ask: How many at first?

This helped most students see right away that they needed to combine the groups of cubes to find out how many cubes at first. Acting it out like this is a great anchor for kids when we move to just solving start unknown equations. They can always create a story about a clown and act it out just like this.

To make this effective, here are the guiding questions I asked:

  • What does the 2 tell me? The 6?
  • Why did you put the cubes back together?
  • What number would go in the front of the number sentence? Why?
  • You said 8 goes at first. Let's act it out from the beginning and make sure.

  How to Model with Cubes
  Diverse Entry Points: How to Model with Cubes
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The Circus Problem

Unit 11: Missing Parts: Unknowns in All Positions
Lesson 1 of 10

Objective: SWBAT visualize a start unknown problem and explain what happened first, next and last.

Big Idea: Students connect to stories! In this lesson students work to solve a sad clown's problem by solving a start unknown story problem!

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sad clown
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