I started off by giving partners some simple division problems to solve. I gave very little guidance, and the word "division" was never mentioned. I prompted them to use whatever strategies they needed to solve the problems. Here are some examples of what they came up with.
As you can see, different children independently decided to use arrays, pictures, repeated addition, and repeated subtraction! In my experience, most 3rd graders DO understand basic division, they just don't KNOW it's division. The partners were very verbal about how to solve the problems and did a great job showing their work! As my students get more comfortable with division, I'll encourage and expect the most efficient strategies. The work they did today gave me valuable information about what they already understand.
Next, we glued a very basic information page into our spiral notebooks. I didn't introduce the terms dividend, divisor, or quotient yet. I just wanted to give students a basic definition of division and an example.
The pretest was next. I've just started to use pretests. To be honest, I'm not really sure how I feel about them. I'd love to read your thoughts and experiences with pretests, so please consider leaving me a comment.
My students will need a bit more time to finish the pretest tomorrow. Then, I'll use the results to plan a differentiated lesson. I'll share more about the differentiated activities later in the week.
You can grab the word problems, information sheets, pretest, and data sheet I created for free by clicking here or on the image below.
The two information sheets and the problem solving sheets are part of a new product in my store. If you are interested, you can click here or on the image below to see it at Teachers Pay Teachers.
Enjoy your first week back. If you haven't finished your vacation yet, enjoy! I'm only a little bit jealous.