Make it real

Our work with mulitplicaiton and division is very hands-on.  Early exploratins with concrete materials make problems real.  We also have FUN with math!  I connect math to literature and art whenever I can. We read aloud The Doorbell Rang, by Pat Hutchins as we learned about equal shares.  Then we explored with other numbers.  Thinking about trays

of cookies and kids is something children can relate to.  

When I introduced division, we acted out problems with dogs and dog bones.  The children loved taking the roles of dogs, and held dog dishes as we distributed the bones.

And to introduce Fractions...what better way than to pose a problem about sharing candy bars?  It was Valentine's

Day, which made it all the more fun.  I gave each group of four students this problem: I bought candy bars for the class...but counted wrong!  We have only enough for three candy bars for every four students.  If you can find a way to share them equally, I will cut them up for you.  The children loved it and we displayed our work in the hall.