Scene 3

After talking with Michelle, Joe knew that one of the first changes he could make in his teaching of long division would be to have the students use the transformational strategy of imagery to visualize the problems they were trying to solve.

 
Click here to view the Transformation Strategies Tool in the Cognitive Strategies section.
Click here to view the Imagery Strategies Strategies Tool in the Cognitive Strategies section.

When the time came for math class to start, Joe was prepared with a special long division story problem. First, however, he wanted all of his students to visualize the story.

"Since we all live in Nebraska, we know a lot about land. We see farmer's fields all the time. How do you know when the ownership of a piece of land changes?" asked Joe.

Jessie spoke up. "Usually there are different crops."

"Good. What about in a neighborhood? How can you tell then?" probed Joe.

"Sometimes their grass is different lengths or they have different kinds of grass," said Claire.

"Right. Take a look at this overhead photo. You can see all the different yards here, can't you? Now I want us to pretend that we have to cut the grass for one of these yards. There are 27 of us in this class and each of us needs to cut some of the grass. The yard is 950 square feet. How can we figure out how much we each need to cut?" inquired Joe.

Robbie answered, "We could divide 950 by 27 and see."

After Joe praised this answer, he went on to explain the basics of long division to the class and how useful the transformational strategy of imagery is in thinking about story problems.

 
Click here to view the Transformation Strategies Tool in the Cognitive Strategies section.
Click here to view the Imagery Strategies Strategies Tool in the Cognitive Strategies section.

Reflections:

  1. What transformational strategy would work to introduce 950 divided by 27 in a more urban setting?
  2. Plan a lesson using the imagery strategy.

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