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  • Heather Alden

    August 1, 2022 at 10:53 am

    Instead of repeating a review lesson on the partial quotients algorithm for long division in May, my coteachers and I worked together to use a 3 act task on fidget spinners instead where they needed to divide in order to solve the mystery of how many times it spins before stopping. The level of engagement was high as I started the class with a real fidget spinner and didn’t explain why I had it. Next, the students saw the engaging video from the website and I withheld the question and lots of information as show in the task. Students had time to talk to their partners about their noticings and wonderings. Then I was able to share that we would be trying to figure out one of the student’s own questions about how many times the fidget spinner would spin. Students then needed to use any strategy to solve once they were given the average number of spins per second and how many seconds it spun and students worked hard. Consolidation at the end honored some student work that was different than what I had expected but still helped them to get their answer. We also reviewed the long division strategies from class and students hopefully understand the value of knowing an efficient division strategy. I really wanted to preteach the division algorithm before hand (we keep coming back to it and many students do not remember) but my math coach encouraged me to not do that as I now understand that would have prevented the students from trying to solve it in other ways and would have removed much of the curiosity from the lesson. The reveal at the end of the task was also exciting for the students.