Math Tourist: Riding the Rails Down Under

Essential Question for students (objective):  How can you solve problems involving decimal lengths?

Supplies:   video (length 1:46), note-maker

CCSS:  5.NBT.7, MP#2 – Reason Abstractly and Quantitatively  

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 having students practice adding, subtracting, and multiplying decimals. 

1)  You can show this video (1:46) at the beginning of any unit  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 any unit as a formative check to see what the students have learned about working with decimals and whether they can apply that knowledge.

2)  You could show this video as a warm-up activity after the students have learned some basic decimal operations.  It is a great way to explore the real-life application of decimal distances.

Extensions:  The extension can involve multiplication, but an advanced student can solve it any number of ways.

Cautionary notes/ misconceptions/additional connections:  It may be helpful to have base ten blocks as well as blank number lines.

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