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Separating Equal Groups of Single Blocks

Separating Equal Groups of Single Blocks

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Published by Digi-Block
Comprehensive Teacher's Guide Grades 3-4, Lesson 4-2
Comprehensive Teacher's Guide Grades 3-4, Lesson 4-2

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Digi-Block on Jul 15, 2013
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Separating Equal Groups of Single Blocks
n the previous section,students saw division as the process of separatingequal groups,finding either the number of equal groups (repeated sub-traction) or finding the number in each equal group (sharing).Now studentsexplore division further with the Array mat,connecting these two views of division.The Array model reinforces the relationship between division andmultiplication.Students also explore division with remainders.
Using the Array Mats for Division
Students work in small groups with one Array mat. Present this story problem:
There are 72 blocks.Each child gets 6 blocks.How many children get blocks?
How could you use the Array mat to find out?
Provide time for students to gather a group of 72 blocks. You might ask if anyonecan think of a quick way to do this (e.g., emptying 7 blocks-of-10 and adding 2single blocks). Students then take turns placing a group of 6 blocks side by sidein successive rows on the Array mat until there are no more blocks left. Whenstudents complete the task, have them describe what they did (put groups of 6on the Array mat until all 72 blocks were used) and identify the number of groups. Ask,
What number sentence can you write to tell what you did?
Record 72 ÷ 6 = 12 and havestudents connect each number tothe story problem, to their actions with the blocks, and to the wathe blocks look on the Array mat.If appropriate, introduce the terms
Next present this story problem:
Six children share 72 blocks fairly.How many blocks does each child get?
Using the Array mats to divide,and exploringremainders
Do not be surprised if students do not immediately recognize that the answer to this problem is also 12. For students who need prompting, ask,
What could you use on the Array mat to stand for the 6 children?
Students can model the problem by placing one block above each of thenumbers 1 through 6, continuing with all 72 blocks. When studentscomplete the task, have themdescribe what they did (gave oneblock to each of 6 columns until all72 blocks were used) and tell thenumber in each group. Ask,
How would you write a number sentence to tell what you did?
Record 72÷6 = 12once again, asking students to connect each number to thestory problem and to what they did with the blocks.Have students discuss how these story problems are the same and different.Since the blocks are placed next to each other on the Array mat, placing agroup of 6 blocks in a row and placing one block 6 times looks exactly thesame. This helps students to recognize that the example 72÷6 gives thesame answer whether the 6 represents the number in each group or thenumber of groups.Have students investigate similar examples. When appropriate, present anexample that involves a two-digit divisor, such as 45÷15. Have students usethe Array mat to find the quotient. Ask,
What other number sentences do you see in the array?
(45 ÷ 3=15, 3
3=45)Continue to provide many division examples and story problems (aboutblocks as well as other story contexts) for students to model and solve. Eventually introduce the form 15)45 and have students compare the two ways to write division examples. This particular division notation pro-motes the language, “15 goes into 45.” Such wording suggests groups of 15, or a subtractive model of division, which can easily confuse a student who is working on a story problem that involves equal shares instead.Teach students to use the phrase “45 divided by 15,” which supports bothmodels of division.
1 2 3 4 5 6
Working with Remainders
After working with many examples that divide evenly, students should beginto explore division examples and story problems that result in remainders.Have students use the blocks to find how 2 children should share 21 grapes.Students might distribute the 21 blocks between two columns or rows on anArray mat or simply make two groups. Note that students may place the extrablock with one of the groups or keep it separated from the other blocks.Some students may suggest “splitting the block in half.”Introduce the term
, and show students how they can report blocksthat are “left over.” If using the notation 21 ÷ 2 = 10 R1, make sure thatstudents can connect the numbers to the physical model.Real-world contexts often determine what we do with remainders. Story problems involving the sharing of cookies, for example, may encouragestudents to divide whole cookies that cannot be distributed fairly. Suchproblems can be used to motivate the use of fractions.As students investigate division, encourage them to pose their own story problems. When students make up their own problems, the answers will notalways be whole numbers. In these instances ask,
What could you do with those that are left over?
The following examples stimulate students to think about the options of whatto do with “remainders.” Such discussions are important because remainders will be treated very differently, depending on the problem situation.For example:
I have 38 toy cars and want to share them equally among 4 friends. How many will eachfriend get?
(9 cars, with 2 left over)
I have 38 cookies and want to share them equally among 4 friends. How many will eachfriend get?
(9 and 1/2 cookies)
I have $38 and want to share it equally among 4 friends. How much will each friend get?
Thirty-eight friends are going on a roller coaster. Each car on the roller coaster holds 4people. How many cars will they need?
(10 cars)
Maria is making jackets for teddy bears. She has 38 buttons and needs 4 buttons for each jacket. How many jackets can she make?
(9 jackets)

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