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Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Game of Remainders

Thursdays are Game/Station Day for the children who come to me for math. Today, we read two stories, Divide and Ride, and A Remainder of One. These did a great job of introducing the topic of division with remainders. (Of course, some of the children have encountered division in their books already, but this game was engaging for all abilities.)

The big math ideas include:

* Division and multiplication are linked, the way addition and subtraction are.

* When we divide, we share into equal parts. Division sentences describe the action of sharing.

* When we divide, there is often a remainder.

This game comes from a book by Marilyn Burns, and is supposedly for the 3rd/4th grade level. However, my students seemed to understand the basics of this game and had a very fun time playing it. Having Christopher's wonderful grandparents to assist children made this an easy game to teach, and we will be sure to play it again soon. Feel free to play it at home - in fact, I encourage it!

Here are the instructions - please contact me if anything is unclear:

Each student pair received the following materials:  15 counters, 6 paper plates, a die, and two pieces of  paper and pencils.

1. Take turns. On your turn, roll the die, take that number of paper plates, and divide the markers among them. Keep any leftover markers.

2.  Both players record the math sentence that describes what happened. For example: 15 divided by 4 = 3 R3. Partners both note the initial of the person who rolled a die in order to keep track.

3. Return the markers on the plates to the cup before the next player takes a turn. Using the above example, there will now be 12 markers.

4. Play until all the markers are gone. Then figure your scores by counting how any markers each of you has. The winner is the player with the most leftovers. Add your scores to make sure that they total the 15 markers you started with.

Here are some pictures of our mathematicians in action:

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