|Grade span:||6 to 8|
|Duration:||30 to 45 minutes|
Description:This sample is one example of how you can implement the Math Tools practice. In this lesson, students will use counters, such as pinto beans, and a variety of problem-solving techniques to estimate and determine the solution to Raul's Apples.
- Use problem-solving strategies and manipulatives to solve a problem involving number sense
- Find a solution to a real-world problem using manipulatives
- Develop and use strategies to judge the reasonableness of results
- Work together to problem solve
- Raul's Apples Problem (PDF) printed on small sheet of paper
- Beans (about 100 per small group)
- Ensure that each group has enough beans to allow them to explore different scenarios.
- Think about the students in your group and determine whether using calculators may be necessary for them to access the problem-solving task. The use of calculators should be determined based on the goals for the students.
What to Do:
- Organize students into small groups of three or four.
- Hand out Raul's Apples problem, and allow students time to read and begin work on the problem.
- Ask students to begin sharing their thinking in their small groups.
- Provide them with beans to help them figure out the problem. Ask how the beans might help. Listen for a variety of ways in which students think about the beans. Help students see how the beans can be used to represent the apples in the problem.
- As students find answers to the problem, ask them to justify their thinking to you. ("How did you use the beans? Were they helpful?" and "Why did you choose to start with that number of beans?") You can have them prepare a presentation for the entire group where they share their thinking about the problem.
- Encourage students who have solved the problem in different ways to share their thinking, so that a variety of solution strategies are shown.