learning to "blum"

A blog about my time in the education department at Luther College.

Cupcakes, Tables, and Pizza: Learning How to Divide

on January 16, 2014

As students walked into the classroom this morning there was quite a buzz about how Miss Blum would be teaching math. I had many students ask me what I would be teaching or what they would be doing. It was clear to me that they had high expectations. As if I wasn’t worried enough already!

I had spent the night before polishing my lesson plan and making sure all of my materials were ready. I also read through my lesson plan enough to put anyone to shame. I was so nervous. However, it wasn’t until the students began talking about my teaching for the day that it fully became real to me. It was time to teach on my own. Though the students’ expectations worried me, they thrilled me at the same time. I would be teaching after the students returned from gym class at 10:45 A.M.

At 10:30 I started to get myself set up for the lesson. I quickly ran through my lesson in my mind. Would I have enough differentiation? Would I be able to keep control of the class? What if I forgot part of my lesson? Again, the students walking into the classroom curbed my thoughts. These kids were ready to learn. I had students get their materials out and began the lesson with a real-world problem about students in the class. This was my favorite part of my lesson and I knew the kids would be excited about it as well. I had the students in the problem act out the situation to show the division involved. This activity was more popular than I expected, as students were asking if we could do another problem like it another day. We then began the main portion of the lesson, which involved working through the Math Trailblazers curriculum using the context of a birthday party. The birthday party included division of pizzas, cupcakes, and guests to tables. Though I wish the curriculum would have provided more flexibility with the situation given, I was glad it kept the mathematical learning real-life applicable. The importance of making school work relatable for students cannot be understated.

Now that I have one day of teaching under my belt, I am looking forward to tomorrow’s lesson! I can’t wait to make math more fun for these students. The menu for tomorrow’s lesson includes group work, graphic organizers, and a fun family who needs help sharing a jar of money. I’m hoping that continuing this real-life math work will help to fuel passion for learning among students – it sure is doing so for me!


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