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CBSE 7401T Advanced Methodology and Practice in Middle Childhood Mathematics: Week 1

Dr. Hanna Haydar's Spring 2020 Open Educational Resource OER

Math Fun Problem

Context 1: 

Carol, a fifth grade teacher presents the following context to her students:

“Last year I took my students on field trips related to the projects we were working on. At one point, we went to several places in New York City to gather research. I got some parents to help me, and we scheduled four field trips in one day. Four students went to the Museum of Natural History, five went to the Museum of Modern Art, eight went with me to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and the five remaining students went to the Planetarium. The problem we ran into was that the school cafeteria staff had made seventeen submarine sandwiches for the kids for lunch. They gave three sandwiches to the four kids going to the Museum of Natural history. The five kids in the second group got four subs. The eight kids going to Ellis Island got seven subs, and that left three for the five kids going to the Planetarium”

“Now we didn’t eat together, obviously, because we were all in different parts of the city. The next day after talking about our trips, several of the kids complained that I hadn’t been fair, that some kids got more to eat. What do you think about this? Were they right? Because if they were, I would really like to work out a fair system- one where I would know how many subs to give each group when we go on field trips this year”

Context 2:

Joel introduces the context by telling his sixth-grade students that he has recently gotten a kitten from an animal shelter. At the animal shelter, Joel learned that kittens need a special kind of cat food. As Joel looks into buying food for his kitten, he discovers that there are two stores in his neighborhood that sell the brand he needs. Since both stores are having sales, Joel asks his students to help him figure out which one has the best buy. Bob’s store advertises 12 cans of kitten food for $15.00; Maria’s offers 20 cans of the same food for $23.00

  1. Solve the problems above
  2. Anticipate how different students would solve the two problems. (consider as many ways, strategies, misconceptions, mistakes, questions that students might come up with)

From: Fosnot, C.T, Dolk, M. (2002). Young mathematicians at work: constructing fractions, decimals, and percents. Portsmouth, NH : Heinemann


Attribution: [Institute of Education Sciences] (n.d) Developing Effective Fractions Instruction for Kindergarten Through 8th Grade [Video File]. Retrieved from