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Laura E.

Math Topic: Division
Time: 45 minutes
This lesson was designed to help students begin to answer 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 division 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. Additionally, in modeling this problem student will be exposed to the different units in
a division problem. That is, that the unit of the answer of a division problem is not the same as
the unit of the amount being divided. 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 asking requiring engagement with the
conceptual idea that underlies the procedure (Shindelar, 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 begin to 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 begin to understand the process of composing numbers, the
concept of factors, and the relationship between division of multiplication, and
For myself: I will begin to 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 lay 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.
o Clarifying questions might include: What does this guideline look like? What
does this guideline sound like?
The teacher will do a simple dot-pattern number talk with the students. This type of number talk
will be quite familiar, as the students have practiced such talks in the regular classroom. The
teacher will show the pattern, have students discuss in pairs, and then have students share how
they saw the dots with the whole class. The teacher will draw the pattern on the board and circle
the groups that students make. Students will be encouraged to circle the patterns on the board
themselves if they feel comfortable.
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? or, what mathematical operation are we going
to perform in this problem? With student input, the teacher will re-voice student comments and
come to the conclusion that We have a division problem on our hands. [A number can written
in the box as a holder if students are confused.]
The teacher will ask for a student to write the number 6 in the box. teacher will then explain what
that number represents in the problem using the following phrases: In what ways can a group of
24 things be divided up into equal groups of [6]? How can I break 24 apart into equal groups of
[6]? The teacher will write below the number 24 total, below the number 6 groups, and
below the empty box items per group.
Work 15 / 20 minutes
The teacher will explain that the students will be working in pairs to solve the problem on the
board/on their worksheets. The teacher will then pass out worksheets, paper plates, and 24
Hershey kisses to each pair of students. The teacher will ask, How many groups are we going to
have if we are giving each person [6] 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 [6] 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, most likely 8 and 12. 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 work.
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 whether students understand how to decompose the number 24 into equal groups
students will be continuously monitored by the teacher during the discussions and peer-work
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 thinking?
To monitor content understanding, students will be observed to see if they can produce 3 other
methods to explain each division problem. When asked, students will be able to explain their
decision making process for creating their groups and recording their methods. This will be
checked specifically with the observation checklist below.
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.
- The wording How many groups are we going to make may confuse students. 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.


24 =

24 =
Show your work!