Sunday, November 25, 2012

DreamBox Sample Lesson is a Dream Come True

If you are an intermediate grade math teacher, long division is probably a proverbial thorn in your side. No matter which way you slice it, the traditional long division way WE learned it in school, or the new-fangled partial quotients way they teach it in Everyday Math nowadays, many kids struggle with dividing large numbers. Trying to pile this concept onto a weak foundation of unmastered multiplication and division facts is usually a recipe for disaster in Room 202, but rather than throw in the towel, I am constantly looking for new ways to reinforce the skill, hoping that if I throw it at the kids enough different ways eventually it will stick.

Before I share my latest discovery with you, let me explain that I am a registered, dues paying member of the Partial Quotients Fan Club. I prefer this method of dividing large numbers hands down to the divide-multiply-subtract-bring down algorithm I was taught in school. Partial quotients is just so much more concrete and flexible. I love the way the algorithm illustrates that division is actually repeated subtraction.

Anyhow, we have worked on partial quotients A LOT this quarter in Room 202, and I still have more than a handful of students who are struggling to master the skill. That's why I am so excited about my most recent Google Treasure. (I'll use that moniker for the really cool stuff I accidentally find on the internet until I come up with something catchier.) Tonight, I stumbled upon a DreamBox sample lesson that I just HAVE to share. If you teach division of large numbers, you'll be eternally grateful for this one. Check it out at the link below, and if you love the activity and want to use it in class, I even have a handy dandy little exit slip you can use after your students play the game. Just leave a comment below and sign up to be an email subscriber to my blog and I'll email you the exit slip file.

So without further ado, here's the link: The Gumball Bag-O-Matic game is the first activity on the page. Have fun with it. I know your students will.

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