Math Tourist: Light up the Night!

Essential Questions for students (objectives):  How can we use place value to help us solve real world problems?
Supplies:   video (length1:28), note-maker
CCSS:  3.OA.7, 3.NBT.3, Math Modeling, TEKS: 4.4H, Reasoning, Patterns
Time needed:  20 minutes +

Instructional Format: Video, student problem-solving, group or individual work

Lesson Description: There are many ways to use this video in your math class.  I filmed it with the express purpose of modeling a division problem that uses the base ten system.  I want students to use patterns and their knowledge of the base ten system to approximate and solve real world problems.  This video/lesson has two different problems.  The first problem is very direct and involves few steps while the second problem is multi-step.  I’m hoping that as students watch the video they notice that the individual people wearing lights have much more than 10 lights on their costume.  How can that be addressed during problem solving? 

1) You can show this video (1:28) at the beginning of a unit on division using powers of 100 as a hook that will keep the students interested in learning about division calculations.  You can have them work on the problem at the end of daily lessons (or once a week) armed with new knowledge that they are exploring in class.  Students use the note-maker to help record their problem-solving work.  Or you could revisit the video at the end of the unit as a formative check to see what the students have learned about dividing and the base ten system and whether they can apply that knowledge.

2) You could show this video as a warm-up activity after the students have learned some division skills.  It is a great way to show context to division problems that isn’t about dividing up quantities between people.

Extensions:  How much power would it take to light up the parade?  Obviously the floats don’t have a plug, so how are they (and the dancers) powered?


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