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Lauren Schwartz and Kelsey Mensch

Mathematical Ideas & Concepts - Numbers and Operations in Base Ten

- Division (such as concepts like equal grouping)
- Multiplicative Thinking and Strategies

Main Mathematical Practices - Make sense of problems and persevere in solving

them
- Reason abstractly and quantitatively
- Construct viable arguments and critique the
reasoning of others

Primary Standards

PA Core Standards - CC.2.1.4.B.2 Use place-value understanding and

properties of operations to perform multi-digit
arithmetic.
- CC.2.2.4.A.1 Represent and solve problems
involving the four operations.
- CC.2.2.4.A.4 Generate and analyze patterns using
one rule. Commented [1]: This is a stretch. I don't think its
necessary to include
PA Eligible Content - M04.B-O.1.1.2 Multiply or divide to solve word
problems involving multiplicative comparison,
distinguishing multiplicative comparison from
additive comparison. Commented [2]: This one doesn't really fit with this
problem. Multiplicative comparison is saying that
- M04.B-O.1.1.3 Solve multi-step word problems something is xtimes something else. Your problem is
posed with whole numbers using the four equal groups.
operations.
Lauren Schwartz and Kelsey Mensch

There are 36 crackers to be shared equally for a snack. How many kids can share the Commented [3]: Will 36 be challenging enough for your
students? You could also use 72.
crackers? How many crackers will each kid get?
you mentioned this. Part of me immediately agreed and
wanted to use 72 instead as a method of offering all
Explanation of Task students high-level content; however, I am deciding to
There are multiple reasons why we feel this is a worthwhile task for both of our 4th-grade stick with 36 because I feel that it is important to utilize
it as perhaps an entryway problem and to then possibly
classrooms. These reasons include: probe them to think further and break them in half and
- Both of our classes are just starting to learn division. This is a new mathematical see if they can use the same strategies. I also think it
will make for a better discussion.
operation and concept to both of our classes.
Commented [5]: These make sense and are well
- Students are coming off of a unit that reviewed 3rd-grade multiplication concepts and justified
taught two-digit by two-digit multiplication. We feel that this problem takes students’
prior knowledge of multiplication and also gives them an opportunity to take prior
knowledge and bridge it to grapple with a new concept.
- This problem is open-ended and calls for multiple answers and strategies. Students can
use strategies that they are familiar with at the beginning of the task. We believe that this
task allows us to build up from strategies students are already familiar with and challenge
them to see the connection to higher-level strategies and understanding.
- The task opens the door to partner sharing and constructing arguments to support
thinking. We believe this task directly allows students to work on two of the
Mathematical Practices: (1) reason abstractly and quantitatively and (2) construct viable
arguments and critique the reasoning of others. Through talking with partners, students
are pushed to reason, construct arguments, and critique the reasoning of others verbally.
- Due to its open-ended nature, this task challenges students to persevere in solving
problems (a third Mathematical Practice). This task pushes the boundaries of
conventional whole-class learning and intentionally pushes students’ thinking and
understanding of what Math should look like in their classroom.

Unpacking the Mathematics

Lauren’s class has been working on division for a few
weeks now and have worked through multiple strategies on
solving a division problem. Lauren’s school, Wissahickon Charter
School uses the GoMath curriculum. They have learned the
strategies of drawing out circles and making equal groups Commented [6]: Note that these higher level strategies
are not really useful when the product is only 36
(including remainders), making arrays (equal grouping), dividing
Commented [LMS7R6]: We chose not to include long
with partial quotients (dividing with familiar numbers), repeated division in the possible student strategies (see below)
subtraction (Base-10), and long division. All strategies have been for this reason. I just felt it was important to highlight
the background knowledge the students were coming
introduced and taught and therefore students have the in with.
Lauren Schwartz and Kelsey Mensch

foundational knowledge of multiple strategies for solving division problems, but have moved
toward picking the strategy they feel most comfortable with and competent in.
In contrast, Kelsey’s class has just started their division unit this week. Her school, E.M.
Stanton, uses the Envision math curriculum, which her teacher strictly follows. Using this
curriculum, students have so far been introduced to strategies such as estimation, trial/error,
dividing with of familiar numbers (Base-10), writing out multiplication facts before solving the
division problem, and drawing equal groups to find their answer (including remainders).
Kelsey’s class has not engaged with partial quotient, array models, repeated subtraction, or the
traditional way of long division. Her students have however practiced similar strategies when
solving multiplication, such as the array model, partial products, repeated addition, and counting
up. The strategies Kelsey’s class is currently learning find themselves on each stage of the
OGAP framework. For example, students are learning the Early Additive and Additive strategies
of grouping by counting by ones and equal groups by repeated addition/subtraction. Students are
also currently being taught to use a Transitional strategy of using the inverse relationship
between multiplication and division to find their answer.
While both of our classes are at different stages of learning division, we feel that students
need to understand and be able to do the following. First, students need to be able to look at a
problem and know the question it is posing. More specifically, students need to know what they
are looking for and the language of multiplication and division situations must be understood
(Chapin & Johnson, p.77). Second, students need to be able to look at the problem and know
what operations they can use to solve the problem. Third, students need to understand the
relationship between division and multiplication and be familiar with the concept that to solve a
division problem you are also using multiplicative reasoning. Fourth, students need to have a
foundation of number sense in order to have flexibility with numbers and understand the
relationships between them. Commented [8]: Also think about how the commutative
property will be involved in this problem. 36 crackers
The main difficulty and gap we feel will come up for both of our groups is the fact that can be shared by 3 people and each gets 12 or by 12
there is only one number in the problem. While it is theoretically a division problem, it lacks a people and each get 3. These are different solutions in
the context of the problem, but related multiplicatively.
divisor. Our students are used to having a closed mathematical task that may elicit multiple Note that there is one pair that is not commutative in
strategies but only has one correct answer. It is in the students’ repertoire to look at a problem, this problem context--you can share 36 with 36 people
and each gets 1, but you can't share with just 1 person.
decide what operation/algorithm to use to solve it, and then solve it. Fosnot and Dolk (2001) in
Commented [LMS9R8]: I did not think of this, but now
their writings on algorithms versus number sense argue that a students’ repertoire of strategies having looked at what they learned in 3rd grade I am
must be derived from operating flexibility in the number space--from looking at the numbers seeing that they did learn the commutative property
and that this will be something important to keep in
first, setting up relationships, and then playing with these relationships. This problem pushes mind when going through all of the answers and
them to look at computation strategies not based on basic algorithms but based on number making sense of the answers in the context of the
problem!
relationships and operations.
Commented [10]: Nicely articulated!
Commented [11]: It also involves seeing relationships
between factors and multiples and strategies like
doubling and halving. For example, If 6 people can
share and each get 6, then 12 people can share and
each will only get 3
Commented [LMS12R11]: Important! They are learning
factors and multiples now! Perfect!
Lauren Schwartz and Kelsey Mensch

Anticipating Student Strategies Commented [13]: Nicely done! Make sure you also
figure out all the possible solutions and look for
patterns in the solutions. Make a chart!
Commented [LMS14R13]: Made chart of all possible
answers for both 36 crackers and 72 crackers and
have looked for patterns in the solutions and for
comparing 36 to 72. The chart is in my final lesson
Drawing out Equal plan.
Groups Commented [15]: Or using cubes to directly model by
dealing out in groups?
Commented [LMS16R15]: Absolutely! As you see in the
manipulatives. My students in particular are not used to
using cubes for direct modeling; however, so I am
wondering if they will jump to use them or if they will
immediately go to drawing them as that is the way they
were initially taught.

Array Model Commented [17]: What about area model? How would
that be the same/different?
Commented [LMS18R17]: I wish I could say that my
students will look to the area model to make sense of
the decomposition for partial products or partial
quotients; however, my students consistently get
confused when I introduce the use of area models in
comparison to array models due to the fact that their
GoMath curriculum does not address area models very
often. I do feel that some of them will lean toward
partial products or partial quotients and may use an
area model to make sense of that but I am unsure if

Trial and Error w/

Multiplication

Making Problem
Lauren Schwartz and Kelsey Mensch

Relatable to Context

Partial Quotients Commented [19]: They might also think this way with
multiplication. 3 x 10 = 30 and 3 x 2= 6
Commented [LMS20R19]: Yes, you are right, I think
they actually may be more likely to think of this way
with multiplication and partial products because they
are more comfortable with multiplication. Will add this
on final lesson plan.

Paper For students to solve task with pictures,

equations, and statements

Pencils and Colored Pencils For students to solve task with pictures, Commented [21]: Lauren's idea, I'm guessing : )
equations, and statements Commented [LMS22R21]: You are correct! I think using
color is becoming part of my pedagogical beliefs. Not
Math Manipulatives (Base-10 Block, Cubes) For students to solve task with manipulatives only did I thrive growing up using color to make sense
of math but I also feel that adding color to math helps
students see important relationships and visually make
Whiteboards/Whiteboard markers For students to put up one strategy on the sense of processes.
chart for us to discuss Commented [23]: ok yes. Think through how these tools
will help and how you want students to use them to
Saltine Crackers Used during whole group discussion to push reflect on the important ideas
student’s thinking of the multiple ways that Commented [LMS24R23]: I will do so in final lesson
the crackers can be divided (an example plan!
would be breaking the crackers in half) Commented [25]: Yes! We rephrased the question to be
about graham crackers because they are so easy to
split. Don't forget to anticipate some of these solutions
in case they come up
Commented [LMS26R25]: Anticipated in a chart in final
lesson plan!
Lauren Schwartz and Kelsey Mensch

Classroom Arrangement and Management

Physical Space Set Up
We both have large fourth-grade classes which means a lot of desks and very little room for small
group work. Therefore, we will be conducting the lesson in our respective shared school library. We like
each of our school’s library space for a number of reasons. The first reason is that the library has tables
rather than individual desks. This will be a really great way to promote collaboration and to allow
students to work together to solve the task and work through the questions we each pose to our classes,
together. Second, there is more space in the library for students to spread out and work with more
flexibility than in the classroom.
We will each have our students sit with us at one table altogether as we each launch the lesson
and as we read through the problem together with each of our classes. We would then explain that
students have room to spread out between three tables to work on the task with a partner. We would then
bring students back to sit around the table with each of us when we discuss the task and move on to the
exit ticket.

Distribution of Materials
When we launch the lesson, all materials will be with each of us. We would like students to listen
first to the norm-setting without distractions or materials to play with. When we are ready to introduce the
actual task, we will write the problem up on the board and then read it out loud. We will then have a
student reword the task in their own words (see more on this in Part II). Once this is done, we will
distribute the pens, pencils, colored pencils, and math manipulatives for students to solve the problem
individually. Once this time (approximately 5 minutes) is up, we will distribute the whiteboards and
whiteboard markers for students to pick one of their strategies to put on the whiteboard and share with
their turn and talk partner. We would not use the saltine crackers until the second half of the discussion.
We feel the saltine crackers will distract our students and also potentially cause students to only think
about the problem visually and concretely, rather than strategically through multiple methods. Commented [27]: and concretely? I agree with this
statement. It will be good for the launch though

Anticipated Management Concerns and Responses Commented [LMS28R27]: Added to the launch in the
final lesson plan how I will explain to the students that it
is important to think about STRATEGIES and what they
know about multiplication, division, factors, and
Anticipated Concern Anticipated Response multiples to help solve this problem and how it is
important to think about the multiple ways to solve this
Negative or uncharacteristic reactions to a - Setting up physical space to be away problem.
different physical space to conduct the lesson from potential distractions such as Commented [29]: This is very well thought through!
students or faculty using the space for
various reasons.
- Having the materials they are used to
during math time out when they arrive
so that it is a familiar set up.
- Having them bring with them all of the
math materials they would typically
have out during a math lesson
(textbook, notebook, pencil etc.)
Lauren Schwartz and Kelsey Mensch

Students’ lack of perseverance and fixed - Probing their thinking while they are
mindset when it comes to mathematical working individually
problems (specifically division) - Scaffolding
together again. “What sticks
out to you...what do you
notice...what do you know?”
- Reminding the students there is no one
“right” way to do the problem

Competitiveness among students to solve the - Proactive introduction and re-voicing

problem first and solve it correctly of norms and expectations throughout
the lesson
- Providing extensions to students
thinking and solving so that finishing
first does not mean you are finished
with the problem
- Lay out the structure of the activity
prior to sending them off to solve so
they are aware that they will be given
time to talk and share solutions and
strategies

Part II: The Lesson Plan

Lesson Goal: To provide students with the arena to explore the relationships of number and the
relationship between multiplication and division.

1. Before (Launch). Commented [30]: In this section, you answer each of

my prompts, but you don't really outline what is going to
a. What norms will you establish? happen. You should address the prompts (when
i. We listen carefully appropriate), but write this out as a plan that will be
useful to you. What will you say? What do you expect
ii. We value and respect all opinions students might say or do? Where do you show the
iii. We think about what is being said crackers? Think about engaging students in the
problem so they care about solving it and making sure
iv. We actively participate in the discussion they understand the vocabulary and context well
v. We ask questions for understanding enough to be successful solving it.

vi. We value and learn from our mistakes Commented [LMS31R30]: Rewritten to outline exactly
what is going to happen in final lesson plan.
b. How will you introduce the task?
ii. Students are given sheets of paper with the problem on it and told to read Commented [32]: Try to avoid this as it encourages
the problem in their heads once. once to look for the keywords that tell focusing on one word rather than making sense of the
context. There is a lot of research to show that this is
them what the problem is asking not an effective strategy, though many teachers use it
understanding what is happening (as you would in
literacy) rather than taking words out of context
Lauren Schwartz and Kelsey Mensch

is that the problem is asking
vi. Whole group share out about what they think the problem is asking
vii. Students read the problem one more time to look at the problem and think
“I see this so I know I need to do this”
viii. Students go off to work independently on the problem for a maximum of 5
minutes on the sheet with the problem on it Commented [33]: I like the idea of having them read
three times. Are you ever having a whole group
c. How will you elicit and draw connections to students’ prior knowledge? discussion though? After turn and talk do they share
i. Positive statements such as: out?
1. “You have been working so hard as mathematicians to tackle
division”
2. “We have been talking a lot about how multiplication and division
are related to each other. Today you will get an opportunity to
how to divide!”
3. For Lauren’s group: “I want you to think about what we do as a
class when we do our grapple problems while you are working
through this.”
d. Are there terms, ideas of contexts that need to be discussed or explained in order Commented [34]: Think about this. How will you engage
students in the idea of sharing crackers with friends?
for students to engage successfully with the task? (You should not be showing What needs to be explained? Try to engage students
students how to solve the task here!) so they care about finding solutions to this problem
rather than just seeing it as another word problem
i. “This is not a test...today is all about working through a different kind of
math problem than you are used to. I want you to be creative with your this as a problem that Ms. Schwartz is having while
thinking and stretch your mind.” passing out snack that needs solving. Not just a “word
problem” but a real life problem that they can solve.
ii. For Lauren’s Group: “Just like during a grapple problem, you are going
to take some time to work through this problem on your own. If you are
confused or have a question, you should have something on your paper
first so I can help you. Remember, ‘show me what you know.’
iii. For Kelsey’s group: “Just like we do in Mrs. Williams’ room, you are
going to take some time to work through this problem on your own. If you
are confused or have a question, you should have something on your paper
first so I can help you! Remember the struggle is real, and we are here to
grow and challenge ourselves!”

2. During (Explore). There should be adequate time for students to work on the task;
students might work in small groups, pairs, or independently.
a. What do you expect students to do?
i. After reading through and discussing the question together, students go off
to work independently on the problem for a maximum of 5 minutes on the
Lauren Schwartz and Kelsey Mensch

sheet with the problem on it. They have access to any of the materials
listed above to work through the problem.
ii. After students are given 5 minutes to work independently, they are given
one whiteboard to write one of their solutions down
iii. After each student has one strategy on their whiteboard, we will pair
students up with each other to share the strategy they have on their
whiteboard. We would also encourage students to share how they came to
that solution. We would say this before they turn and talk, but would also
talk about this as we bounce from group to group hearing the discussions. Commented [36]: Now you could ask them to find as
many different solutions as they can
iv. After the turn and talk, the group turns back together to discuss the
Commented [LMS37R36]: Will push their thinking to
problem as a whole group. have them come up with as many different solutions as
they can and then if they complete that then probe the
breaking crackers in half.
b. How will you monitor student thinking? What questions will you ask while
circulating? What will you look for?
i. “How did you know to use to that strategy?”
ii. “How do you know each friend will get that many crackers?”
iii. “Can you share with a different number of friends?” “Try it!”
iv. “Why does that strategy work?”
v. “What do you mean by ______?” Commented [38]: Keep connecting these questions to
the problem context... how do you know each friend will
vi. “Can you retell your partner’s strategy in your own words?” get that many crackers? can you share with a different
vii. “Why did you choose to show this strategy for your whiteboard over number of friends? let's try it!
another one?”
viii. “Could you think about it another way? Is this the only way to solve this
problem?” Commented [39]: Good question
ix. We are looking to see what students strategies are, and if they can reason
and explain why they chose that strategy/why they think that strategy
works

c. Include any differentiation strategies.

i. Do research on what division strategy each student in your group seems to
be leaning toward most during division work and be prepared to probe that
student’s thinking using that strategy.
ii. See below in accommodations section

3. After (Discuss and Wrap-Up). End with a whole group sharing of strategies and
discussion of important mathematical ideas. Commented [40]: Again, rather than answering each
prompt separately, script this out
a. How will you structure the sharing of strategies?
i. Students will have already had the opportunity to talk through one of their
strategies in the turn and talk with an intentionally assigned partner
Lauren Schwartz and Kelsey Mensch

ii. When we turn to the whole group, we will elicit student strategies by
saying something along the lines of “What do we think? What solutions
did you come up with?” Commented [41]: What solutions did you come up with?
iii. Students will be have practiced explaining their strategy on their
whiteboard and will now do the same to the whole group. Students will
use their whiteboard to show their strategy and talk about it in steps.
iv. The teacher will probe and question - will also allow students to
respectfully question each other's strategies (remembering and reinforcing
our norms) Commented [42]: Here I recommend recording their
solutions in a chart, in order, on the board or chart
paper. Then you can facilitate a discussion about the
b. What will you be listening and looking for? patterns you see in the solutions. Make sure you do
this yourself first so you know what all the possibilities
i. The different strategies elicited are. I will send you an example...
ii. The number pairs that they come up with
iii. Noting the number pairs that are not used so that we can push for those
numbers during the group discussion
iv. Does any student think about breaking the crackers in half?
v. Planting seeds in students thinking for things we’d like them to bring up in
the whole group discussion

c. How will you highlight the important mathematical ideas?

i. When each student is explaining their strategy, revoicing their ideas by
making connections/naming the concepts they are describing
ii. Asking students to think about what we call a specific strategy that a
student describes
iii. Pushing students to ask questions about WHY each strategy works and
helping students to describe why using mathematical terms
iv. Providing connections to higher level strategies

d. What connections will you plan to make?

i. Connections to higher level strategies (ie: OGAP framework)
ii. Connections between strategies students share
iii. The connection between the numbers in a division problem (and the
relationship they have)

- Keep track of student work by use of - Focused on reflection of activity and

video and taking pictures of students’ what was learned, rather than an
Lauren Schwartz and Kelsey Mensch

whiteboards assessment of competency Commented [43]: This is good but what will you look
- The whiteboards will be used for - Exit ticket will consist of four for? E.g., you might look at their strategies and also
whether they see connections between multiplication
students to represent their thinking and questions for students to answer at the and division, whether they understand the commutative
solving end of the activity property, and whether they see relationships between
- Monitoring what strategies are used - The following questions are adapted different solutions.
during independent work to decide from Boaler Commented [LMS44R43]: Also look for the use of
factors and multiples and how they respond to the idea
partners - What made this activity of breaking them in half and having 72 crackers
- Keep track of student verbal reasoning different from the math you’re
of solution(s) through video used to?
- What challenged you during
this?
- What is one thing you learned
from this activity?
- What is one question you still
have?

Accommodations

Accommodations for Students Who Need Accommodations for Students Who Need

- Read the problem out loud during the - Challenging students with extension
introduction of the lesson questions during independent solve
- Discuss the problem during the time (“can you solve it another way?”
introduction of the lesson (have “what would happen if you did this?”
students revoice the problem in their - Probe during the discussion to push
own words, allow time for questions) student’s thinking and use of
- Provide manipulatives and other mathematical terms
mathematical tools for students who - Provide an extension question at the
need to work through the problem end of the discussion to get students
physically thinking abstractly
- Scaffold during independent work if a
student is struggling
- Plant seeds during partner share to
help students make connections to