Well, I don’t know about your students, but every year interpreting remainders is like pulling teeth! It is such a struggle for those students that cannot understand word problems or that have no conceptual understanding of what a division word problem is all about.That being said I have been pulling out the big guns this year to try to get them to understand and it is working!
Here are a few things that I have been doing:
Problem A Day
I have been posting a problem a day for about a week where the students have to consider the remainder. I post it on a piece of chart paper and the students solve the problem, while supporting their answer with LOVE (Labels, Our Thinking, Visuals, Equations). Click here to read more about the LOVE, the acronym that we use when solving word problems. After all the students have had a good amount of time to solve the problem, we discuss the answer and how we interpreted the remainder. Here is an example from a student’s math journal. Sorry that is not very clear!
Then once the students had some experience with word problems and context that required them to ignore, round up, or report the remainder as a decimal/fraction, they helped me create this anchor chart. This has really helped my students who continued to struggle with interpreting the remainder correctly. They refer to the chart on a regular basis to help them determine how to interpret the remainder.
Flippable Fun! (and an assessment of sorts)
Last Friday, I assessed the students by giving them a few word problems. However, I wanted something more rigorous. So, today the students worked on a flippable of sorts. The students had three flips, one flip for Ignore It, one for Round It, and one for Report it as a Decimal or Fraction.
The students had to create a word problem for each type of situation. The students who struggled were able to use the chart we had created for an extra scaffold. The students also had to solve the problem, showing the LOVE (of course!)
Check out the inside of some of them!
We are still working on them, but some of them are really impressing me! I hope this post has given you some helpful tips for teaching students to interpret those pesky remainders!