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Laura E.

Subject: Mathematics Decomposing Division & Factoring
Grade: 6th grade
Core Decisions
This lesson was designed to help students better understand the question of whats
happening when division occurs. The key concept of this lesson will be creating equal groups.
In equal grouping division problems, one factor tells the number of things in a group and the
other factor tells the number of equal-size groups (Chapin Johnson, 2006, pg. 77). In this lessons
question in particular, I will focus on a quotitive division problem. In a quotitive division
problem the number of groups is unknown and thus the action involved in quotitive disvison
problems is one of subtracting out predetermined amounts (2006, pg. 78). In modeling this
problem, students will repeatedly take out groups of a certain number to discover how many
groups of that number there are. The lesson was also designed to focus student attention on
discussing, questioning, and justifying mathematical reasoning with peers. Students will be asked
to not only share their own reasoning strategies and thinking pertaining to mathematical
problems, but also listen and react to the reasoning strategies and thinking of their peers.
My Term III question is focused on using talk in the classroom to encourage, aid, and
facilitate learning. This pairs well with my pedagogical focus for math, which is facilitating
mathematical discussion around mathematical ideas by eliciting, clarifying, and following up on
student explanations. Due to my focus, a large part of how my lesson will be taught using pair
and group-wide discussion. Students will begin the lesson by discussing a division problem as a
whole class, then work in pairs to solve a central problem, and finally participate in a whole-class
discussion showcasing their work and providing feedback to their peers. In doing so students will
be asked to incorporate the guidelines for number talks as articulated by Kazemi and Hintz in
Intentional Talk. That is, students will be asked to listen and respond to their peers in a manner
that is authentic, kind, and curious. Specifically, I will be drawing on the targeted discussion
tactics of open strategy sharing, justification, and define and clarify during the discussion portion
at the end of the lesson. The tasks in this lesson are procedures with connections tasks because
they places larger cognitive demand on the student by requiring engagement with the
conceptual idea that underlies the procedure (Stein et al., pg. 16). In regards to discourse, student
knowledge and ideas will be constructed with peer support in both a verbal and non-verbal
manner. By using the manipulatives students will be able to construct quotative division
knowledge with tangible tools, and by engaging in discussion students will be able to verbalize
their understandings. Hopefully, by showing their knowledge in two distinct manners, students
will feel as thought they are the authority of knowing in the classroom. That is, the teacher is
not the only person who knows or understands the problem (Class Notes, November 3, 2014). In
regards to tools, students not only use pencil and paper, but work with manipulatives (in this case
Hershey kisses) as well to unlock division problems. These tools connect to the goal of the
lesson in that they can be used to better develop and show understanding, they are not tools just
for having tools sake.

I selected this particular topic after close observation of my classroom and noticing that
many students in my classroom continue to struggle with long division problems. This is due in
large part to their incomplete understanding of what happens when one completes the standard
long-division algorithm, as well as their incomplete memorization of multiplication facts. After
extensive discussion with Professor Remillard I decided that, rather then teaching a new longdivision method, I would go back and review (and hopefully support) the underlying reasoning
behind a concept that many students continue to misuse and misunderstand. Since the standard
long division algorithm uses the quotative interpretation of division, that is, an amount is
repeatedly subtracted from the dividend, students benefit from exposure to this methods with the
use of manipulatives because they are able to visualize a algorithm they might already be
comfortable using, though with little understanding of exactly what they are doing (Chapin &
Johnson, 2006, pg. 79). My hope is that decomposing how one thinks about division (by equal
grouping) students will feel empowered and have more self-confidence when it comes to
division problems in the future.
I choose to teach this lesson with the following methods: small group work, and group
discussion. I choose to have students complete small group work as well as participate in wholeclass discussion in large part due to my concerns of seeing an absence of these pedagogical
strategies in the classroom. In my classroom, students constantly work individually to produce
answers to problems with almost no peer to peer dialogue. Elements of number talks such as
pulling apart different strategies, using follow up questions, justifying answers, or analyzing
class-wide work never occurs. The lack of this number talk and group collaboration in my
classroom, coupled with my own personal education belief that students talk (in its multiple
forms) is a positive tool by which lesson content can be better constructed and understood, made
me want to incorporate these methods into my own small group lesson.
Lesson Plan
For students: Students will better understand the meaning of division in terms of equal grouping
and its relationship to number composition. Students will be able to discuss their own
mathematical reasoning and wonderings as well as listen and respond to peers explanations and
- Sub goals: Students will better understand the process of composing numbers, the
concept of factors, and the relationship between division of multiplication, and
For myself: I will better understand how to facilitating mathematical discussions around
mathematical ideas by eliciting, clarifying, and following up on students explanations (using
talk moves).
PA Mathematics Standards (6th grade)

Standard - CC.2.1.6.E.2: Identify and choose appropriate processes to compute

fluently with multi-digit numbers.

The materials needed for this lesson include:
- Paper
- Pencils
- Worksheet (1 for each student)
- White board and marker
- Paper plates
- Hershey kisses (24 for each group)
- Agenda Checklist (teacher only)
Classroom arrangement and management issues
This lesson will take place in an empty classroom down the hall from the regular classroom.
Students will be pulled out during mathematics class. Students will be placed in groups of two at
paired desks. These desks will face the white board in a semi-circle arrangement. This
arrangement will allow students to observe the teacher modeling at the beginning of the lesson,
and then face their peers during the whole-class discussion at the end of the lesson. I anticipate
that some students will not know how to work with a partner. To address this concern a brief
discussion of peer work strategies and norms will be discussed at the start of the lesson.
Additionally, I anticipate that some students will not know how to behave while their peers are
sharing during the whole-class discussion portion of the lesson. To address this concern, group
discussion strategies and norms will be discussed at the start of the group discussion portion of
the lesson and repeated when necessary.
Launch 10 minutes
The teacher will welcome the students to the mini-lesson. The teacher will acknowledge that
what the students will be doing today will be a little different so a review of norms and
expectations is needed. The teacher will briefly lie out group work discussion strategies and
norms, as well as peer work strategies and norms.
- Three group discussion and peer collaboration norms should be covered, with
students asked to provide either an example or a non-example: 1. Students will listen
to each other 2. Students will take turns (speaking and working together) 3. Students
will disagree respectfully.
The teacher will place the number sentence 24 on the board and ask the class what type of
situation do we have here? What is going on? With student input, the teacher will re-voice
student comments and come to the conclusion that We have a division problem on our hands.

The teacher will ask, In what ways can 24 things be divided? Or, even better, how can I break
24 things apart? [And put the things in to equal groups? should be added if students are
confused about the action of the question.]
Work 15 / 20 minutes
Taking a student number suggestion, the teacher will write that number in the square box on the
board. The teacher will then pass out paper plates and 24 Hershey kisses to each pair of students.
Whatever the number is, the teacher will then ask, How many groups are we going to have if we
are giving each person [number] Hershey kisses? Student pairs will work together to discover
how many equal groups can be made with the given number.
After each pair has made equal groups with the given number the teacher will ask How many
equal groups of [number] things did you create? Students will discuss. The teacher will prompt
students to discuss how and why they made the decisions that they made. The teacher will
additionally prompt students by asking can you describe what we have in a different way?
From this hopefully multiplication ways (Ex: 12 x 2 or 2 x 12) and addition ways (Ex: 12 + 12 or
2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2) and possibly a skip-counting, memorization, or sentence
way will be introduced. The teacher will take special note to write and label each way of
writing out the problem on the board. Students will write these ways of decomposing 24 on the
first page of their worksheet. The teacher will also note that the numbers work as factors of
24 and will create a list on the side of the board.
The teacher will then ask, How else can we divide 24 Hershey kisses into equal groups? The
teacher will have each pair work with a different number. Students will use a worksheet to record
their number and their work (students should be encouraged to draw or write out their groups).
Students will be directed to write out their grouping method in at least 3 ways, following the
example on the board. If students pick a number that does not work in creating equal groups,
their number will be added to the list on the side of the board as an example that does not
Debrief 15 minutes
Each pair will be asked to share their work with their peers. Students should be encouraged to
share their strategy for solving, justify the decisions that they made, as well as define or clarify
and questions from their peers regarding each way they wrote their number sentence.
If time permits, the teacher will note each group of numbers that works and add them to the
number list on the side of the board. The teacher will then inform students that they have found
the factors or 24. Students will discuss what factors might possibly mean and what
information they can tell about a number. [Students will be allowed to eat the Hershey kisses at
this time.]
If time permits, the teacher will ask students Can we take this number sentence and make it into
a story? If I have 24 Hershey kisses

Assessment of the goals/objectives listed above

In order to gage weather students are understanding how to decompose the number 24 into equal
groups students will be continuously monitored by the teacher during the discussions and peerwork segments of the lesson. The teacher will take note of the following questions: Do they
sound confident in what they are saying? Does what they are saying make sense? Are there
patterns in their thinking? And, what does their lingering curiosity illuminate regarding their
The teacher will also continuously monitor students behavior to see if they have utilized and
followed the group discussion and peer work strategies and norms discussed at the start of the
lesson. In order to gage whether students have comprehended equal grouping and peer and group
discussion strategies and norms the teacher will keep a running record on the following checklist.
Assessment Checklist One per student
Peer Work
Student is able to create other equal groups of 24 things with precision
Student is able to use 3 ways to describe their grouping problem
Student perseveres if missteps are made
Student does not talk over their peers, justifies their thinking and use kind words
Students share the work- one student does not do more than another
Group Discussion
Student listens to peers without interruption and asks clarifying questions
Student presents to peers with authority
If asked, student can articulate peers strategies with clarity and precision
Additional Comments:

Anticipating students responses and your responsible responses

- Students may be particularly excited to work with Hershey kisses. If they prove to be
too much of a distraction the teacher will remove them and have students create equal
groups on the white board [each pair will get a portion of the board to write on].
- Students may be unsure of how to discuss mathematical ideas in a small group
setting. Strategies for good discussions will be noted at the start of the lesson and
referred to throughout the lesson as necessary.
- Students may be unsure of how to work with a partner. Strategies for good partner
collaboration will be noted at the start of the lesson and referred to throughout the
lesson as necessary.

Students may be confused by the wording How many groups are we going to make.
If this is the case the teacher will ask something along the lines of I have 24 things, I
can break these things up many ways. If I want each person to have the same
[number] of things, how many groups with [number] things can I make? I am asking
you not for how many in each group, but how many groups will you make.

- If students are quickly understanding and moving through the problems with factors
of 24 problems using 36 or 30 may be added on.
- Students with reservations to speaking in front of a group will be asked to write down
what they are thinking so the teacher or their partner may read it out loud.
- If the problem of showing multiple ways proves too difficult for the group, the
teacher will instruct each pair to use their kisses to make equal groups of a number
you choose out of the 24 whole. These equal groups will then be shared with the rest
of the class and a discussion focused on factors will follow.

Student Worksheet


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