# Math with Maples

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## Objective

Students will be able to tackle open-ended questions about how to approach division problems with a divisor of five and an unknown quotient. They will use a scientific structure to model with mathematics and make sense of abstract problems. UPDATED 7/25/15.

#### Big Idea

Patterns in division and multiplication can be found in nature, and an understanding of these patterns enables scientists to conduct systematic research.

## Introduction

4 minutes

If you live in a forested place, have students imagine standing under a tree on a sunny day.  Then have them imagine climbing a tree.  Finally, ask them to picture what the tree looks like in the winter.  The point here is for the students to make a personal connection to the tree prior to learning that even one group of trees (for example the genus Acer a/k/a maple) can have more than 40 different insects that depend upon it in some way.

If you live far from a forest, as do my little Tucson students, I've included a short slideshow with images of many different tree species.  It was taken at an arboretum!

## Group Discussion and Exploration

35 minutes

I use the guide

and this Math with Maples activity to facilitate student  discussion division in a scientific context.

Here are a few examples from Math with Maples.

All insect data is based on information from the USDA/ USFS plant pest site.  A space has also been provided to encourage students to take short, specific, scientific notes and to practice asking and writing meaningful questions about non-fiction content.

## Independent / Partner Practice

24 minutes

Students work on their own or with a partner to solve these contextually based division problems.  I challenge my strong readers with the  Lobes on Leaves IP enrichment page, which uses more sophisticated sentence structure and includes additional information about the different insect species.  For my on-level, below-level or ELL students, I use this Lobes on Leaves IP on level page, which provides exposure to the science content without language that may confuse them or dilute their ability to approach the math.

A strategy I use with the students when I confer with them is to have them reread the problem, identify the question they are solving for, and to underline relevant information and numbers.

## Wrap-up

2 minutes

Ask students to think in their head or solve on their whiteboard:

35 divided by 5=     (intentionally repeated twice in the lesson)

10 x 7 =

70 divided by 7 =

40 divided by 5 =

100 divided by 20 =

80 divided by 16 =

Alternative/ enrichment:  What is the purpose of counting how many insects are on a leaf, set of leaves, or a tree?