Problem 4 - Part A

problem 4 - part a

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Students are asked to take the words of the story and make a math picture. No question is asked yet. The story is: “Maria saved $24. She saved 3 times as much as Wayne.”

problem 4 - part a

4th Grade Math - Number Operations: Multiplication & Division
Becca Sherman, Bayshore School District, Daly City, California

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BECCA SHERMAN: We’re going to try to take words, now. We went from numbers, to pictures. I’m gonna give you guys some words to think about, and see if we can use… what’d you say?

STUDENT: word form?

BECCA SHERMAN: Word form! Yeah! We’re gonna go from word form, and see if we can put it into a picture form. So. Let’s keep this guy, move it right here. And here is our words, our story. It’s a story about Maria and Wayne. And let’s see what… whoo! Look at what I grabbed. What’s that?

STUDENT: Our reading log!

BECCA SHERMAN: Is that what that is?


BECCA SHERMAN: Oh, very nice. I’m happy to know that you guys know what your reading log looks like. Even when it’s stuck. All right. Ooh! That’s the next problem. Let’s not look at that one yet. All right. Here we go. I would like someone to read our problem for us. We’re all going to think about it, and then, I’m gonna send you back to your tables to try to draw a picture about it. So, go ahead and read for us.

STUDENT: Maria saved tw..

BECCA SHERMAN: Wait wait wait. Really loud, so that everyone can hear.

STUDENT: Maria saved $24. She saved 3 times as much as Wayne.


BECCA SHERMAN: Huh, exactly! We read it once, let’s think about it. What do we know about this story? What … who’s in it? What’s going on? Talk to us. Yeah.


STUDENT: You could, like, times it, or multiply. BECCA SHERMAN: Well, before we start… okay, so you’re starting to think about how you would solve it. Just tell us about the problem first. What do we know? Who’s in our problem? What are they doing? Can you tell us about… and then we’re gonna try it in a picture. ‘Cause we’re just taking words and we’re trying to add more words to it. What are some important parts of this problem? This story.

STUDENT: To see how much Wayne has?

BECCA SHERMAN: Okay, so, um, we might try and figure out how much Wayne has. Does it actually ask a question?


BECCA SHERMAN: It doesn’t! That’s a funny thing about this. There’s no question here. But we could probably, you think we could use this to figure out how much Wayne has? Cool. So we might do that. How much what?

STUDENT: Dollars.

BECCA SHERMAN: How much what that Wayne has? How many Tech Decks? How many books? How much what?

STUDENT: How much.. money.

BECCA SHERMAN: How much money. So we know there’s something about here, Wayne’s money. What else is in there? What else is the story about? Is it just about Wayne and his money?


BECCA SHERMAN: What else is it about?

STUDENT: Um, Maria saving her money.

BECCA SHERMAN: Maria saving…


BECCA SHERMAN: Money also. Okay. So, um, just curious: how many of you guys think you could draw kind of a math picture? So, like, these are math pictures. We don’t want to get nice and detailed and draw a cute Maria, and dollar bills. But, do you think you could try and draw a math picture about this? Some of you? Okay. That’s gonna be, that’s gonna be our goal. I’m gonna give you guys a piece of paper, With just those same words on it. Take it back to your…d- oh, can I have that one? Thank you. Take it back to your desk with you. And I want, for just a minute, try it on your own first, and then you’re gonna look at your partner’s. So just try and think about it for yourself first, as soon as you have your paper you can get started.

Here we set the stage as a group, asking what information is in the words and what is not.