Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Remainder of One- A Division with Remainders Must Read Mentor Text!

Hey there!

I think the hardest week to link up to Must Read Mentor Texts is math.  We probably get the least amount of link ups because it can be hard to find literature for math or we don't use literature in math as much as we want to because there is SO MUCH to teach!  Buuuuuut, even if it's just us with a text, that's ok!!  We are determined to be able to find a math text to be able to share once a month!  :O)

That being said, it's time for
So, one of my blogging resolutions was to share more photos of what were are doing in action!!  I've done fairly well this week taking pictures, even if it's after the fact.  But, I did make sure I was prepared during the lesson I did using math literature this week!

Ok, so the book I want to share is

I'll give you a brief synopsis of this book.  There are 25 bugs that are marching in a parade.  They are trying to decide how many should march in a line.  They start with 2 lines.  Well, the queen is ok with this until she sees Joe, the bug that's marching by himself because he is the REMAINDER OF ONE since 25 divided into 2 lines does not work evenly.  So, they basically throw Joe out of the parade!  Awful, I know!  Poor Joe can't sleep so he keeps trying to find a way that he can be included!  He tries 3 lines, then 4, and finally finds out that 5 lines work best!!!

**The following is an honest lesson that was by no means perfect, but was real (teaching) life!  You know, when you start a lesson and have all these ideas of what you want to happen but about 5 minutes in you realize, Whoa, Nelly, they aren't ready!  We have some work to do!  Yeah, that kind of lesson!**

When I taught 3rd grade, I always used this book to introduce division with remainders.  I wanted to make clear what a remainder is (leftovers).   Now, we began reviewing division before the break (I teach 4th), and so when we came back, I wanted to be sure they all remembered their basic division because we needed to move on to division with bigger numbers.  We had "touched" on remainders, and I wanted to finish up with it and move on.  I have also found with my class this year, they can do math, but they have a HARD time showing it, specifically with manipulatives (no matter how many times we use them!).

So, when I started this lesson this past week, I really thought that they would have all heard this book in 3rd grade.  Well, you know what they say about assuming.  That proves true for me EVERY time!  I asked how many of them had heard the book (totally expecting all of them to raise their hands) and only ONE had seen it.  So, at that point, I knew the lesson would be longer than I had planned!

So, we used Unifix cubes with the book, like I did when I taught 3rd.  They got 25 cubes and we went through the whole book.  They divided them into 2 lines, then 3, 4. and 5.  The observations alone that I was able to make were VERY helpful in understanding my students and I became very glad I did this.  Again, don't assume anything, I tell ya!!  I thought this would be easy peasy.  It wasn't.  I know they learned it last year, but it was a matter of them remembering it!

(Look at the little guy on the right.  When I came over to take the picture he hid the remainder.  So, I asked him how 25 divides into 4 lines evenly?  He looked at me and I asked, "Where's Joe?"  He sheepishly showed me the yellow cube.  I asked, "You weren't kicking Joe out of the parade too, were you?"  He said, "Weeeeeeeell...."  So we had another conversation about why remainders are still important and still a part of the group!!!  You wouldn't want to be left out, would you??  No!!!!)

It definitely helped going through the story with the manipulatives.  I had been trying to get my students to draw pictures for the division we had been doing and so many of them didn't want to!  But they were getting it wrong! So, I think this helped because after my observations, I think some of them just weren't comfortable with the remainders.  They had to get over the hurdle that it's okay to have leftovers!

Well, my whole point in reading the book in the beginning was that I wanted to take it to the next level.  My original thought was to have them create their own book with different remainders.  This was the next step I wanted to take after we did our reviewing.

So, I gave them the challenge of creating their own book.  They decided they wanted to use British soldiers since we had just started talking about the causes of the American Revolution.

They wanted to use 100 British soldiers.  I was pretty happy with that, I'm not gonna lie.  We were using a "big" number, which was what I was trying to get to, plus incorporate social studies (sort of)!  Happy me!

I paired the students up and they each got 50 cubes and combined it with their partner.  That is a whole other observation tool- watching kids count out 50 cubes!!
(The hope is that they won't count one to one, that they'll maybe count by twos or group them.  Many of them did, but I was able to see who still counts one to one and who may need some review with number sense/place value!)

So, they had their cubes.  We wanted the end of the story to end like A Remainder of One where it divides evenly.  So, I pulled a student's name from my sticks (I have their names on craft sticks and I pull names occasionally for activities) and that student and her partner got the last page!  They chose a number that divides into 100 evenly.

From there, I went to each pair and asked how many lines they wanted their soldiers in (it could not divide into 100 evenly because they needed a remainder).  Now, I understand that 35 lines of soldiers is probably not practical, but in using big numbers, I was okay with them trying it.  Once they had their divisor, they set to work with the cubes, making their lines of "soldiers."
After they had their answer, they created a page for our book.  Now, since the lesson went waaaaaaaay longer than anticipated, they only got started on their book pages, so I have a picture of their work in progress!
It says, "100 British soldiers marching through, divided into 9 lines is what they decided to do."  Then it says "King George got mad at the soldier that was not in a group." (They had a remainder of 1.)  Bless them, their array is a little crooked, but you gotta love their "redcoats"!!

So, this is how I used this book.  It was a lesson that started a little rough around the edges, but turned out being very valuable for my students and for me!  That's what I love about books.   You might think they will be too "easy" but may find out, it's just what they needed!!

I really do love this book!  I hope if you teach division, you'll check it out!!  :O)

Please Link Up!

Next week's linky- Science


  1. I totally agree that it's difficult to find good math literature!! But I keep searching! :)
    I definitely see myself using this book to review odd and even numbers, as well as skip counting with my firsties!
    Thanks for hosting!

  2. This is a great lesson! You showed a perfect way to integrate math into other subject areas, and teach a cross curricular model! Hello COMMON CORE!
    Nice job!

    Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans

  3. What a great idea!! :) I love their redcoats!!! ...too bad I was off schedule and had the perfect LA book to link up today. Grrrrr. Oh well. I'll save it for a post this week. :-P

  4. I love using this book when I teach about division as well. Your students own book looks wonderful! What a great way to have them show you what they have learned.

  5. This is such a great book! I loved seeing the pictures of your kids using models to represent their thinking. I used to love using this text with my fifth graders. Will pass on your post to a one of my teaching friends...

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers

  6. Great post! I laughed about the student hiding the remainder! :) I love how you incorporated writing and made a math book! They will definitely internalize this lesson with all the learning opportunities you gave them! I always get a headache the first day I teach long division! haha
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  7. Finding good, new math mentor texts really is hard! I'm always on the lookout for new ones. I usually have seen most of the books out there, but I'm not familiar with A Remainder of One. Thanks!

    Blog Stuff - Sweet Rhyme - Pure Reason
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  8. Love so many things about this post. Love that I own this book (more than 1 copy even). Love how they modelled the story throughout. Love how you talked about students that count by one - this is so hard for me to watch. I have really been working on observing their strategies, having them talk with a peer and demonstrating alternate strategies (but not forcing them to use them like I really want to!). Love the class book. Love the strategy for picking names. Love that a little one hid his remainder - too cute. I love math mentor texts the most out of any mentor texts - I hope people continue to link up like crazy cause I love finding new books! Sorry for posting on your post - guess I should leave yours alone and go finish mine. Thanks for the great post :)

  9. Thank you for the book idea (I just added to my Amazon list) and for continuing to host such a great link party!
    Short and Sassy Teacher

  10. Thank you for hosting such a great link up (even if I only managed to join on the last day!) Now I need to look through some of my other favourite books to see what other weeks I can link with!

    Butterflying Through Teaching

  11. It’s total about best custom essay site reviews, culture, ideas and stories to tell. Among yesterdays, today and tomorrow’s citizen are peopling whose origins from all parts of the earth. By this article we can know all history of this country.


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