I don't do word problems very often. But I liked what was happening over in this great 4th grade Learning Lab lesson described by Kristin. So I adapted the less-numbered prompt and asked my class what they noticed.
They were indignant (maybe because they've been made wary now):
J's "It's a lie!" was vehement.
I disagreed: this situation, though it is made up, could be a true one. And we do get some information from the description. I asked if anyone could draw an apple display that might be possible:
That one at the top is my counter-example.
So now for some numbers. The class seemed relieved by their appearance! What questions could we ask?
I wanted to get them working individually at this point, so off we went straight away. "You can use cubes or Cuisenaire rods if that helps you. Show me your answer, and what you thought to get to that answer."
There was a great range of approaches. Here's a selection:
|This student was the only one who just added the numbers together. |
I suggested he got out 56 cubes and arranged them in four rows...
|I was so pleased she chose to do this!|
|This student was so excited that he'd got this.|
But when asked, he said his method was to estimate, and then tinker a bit to get the right answer.
|Halving 56 took this student a lot of time though!|
I think someone told her in the end!
|I like the fractions added at the end!|
|There were quite a few of these halving and then halving again ones.|
It wasn't a strategy I'd talked about, so it's great to see it coming up!
|Again, I love K's link with fractions|
|He's used that pattern|