How will I use this in real life?
I asked that question all the time in school.
This activity gives the students a chance to see how important division can be.
What do we all wish would happen in the real world? Finding a pile of money, of course!
I gave my students a pile of (fake) money and this worksheet and let them figure it out. I made sure the pile had different denominations.
My students weren’t very efficient. If I found a pile of money with some friends, I’d count it, do a division problem and we’d each get our share.
My students took forty five minutes figuring this out. Most used the one for you, one for you, one for me method.
The discussion they had involved the need for problem solving and logic which was a challenge for them.
The key to this was walking around and prompting them. Here is an example of one conversation I had.
“You have a remainder of $211?” I asked surprised. “If this were real money would you leave that just sitting on the ground?”
“We only have two hundred dollar bills and there are four of us,” they replied.
“Hmmm. There has to be a way to solve that problem,” I said while walking away.
The debrief was key. Each team shared their methods and I did the long division with them on the board. The students had an “Aha!” moment when they realized it took them 45 minutes and it took us 2 minutes to do it with long division.
They hadn’t realized long division could make their life easier.
I hope you enjoy the discussions that this project can bring.
I’ve provided a blank in case you want to have them find something like a bag of candy or almonds.
The possibilities are endless.
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