Lesson plan

A Hearty Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! Use this fun hands-on lesson with your students to practise solving division problems with one-digit divisors. Students will explore different strategies they can use to solve division problems.
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Students will be able to use different strategies to solve division problems with one-digit divisors.

(5 minutes)
  • Tell students that you have a question for them and that you’d like them to think hard about the correct answer.
  • Ask, "What did the calculator say to the pencil on Valentine’s Day?"
  • Allow students to have time to think and to share their answers by raising their hands and being called on.
  • Tell students that the correct answer to that joke is, “You can count on me!”
  • Explain to students that today they will participate in a fun Valentine’s Day maths activity, which focuses on division and the different division strategies.
(15 minutes)
  • Display eight candy hearts on the document camera.
  • Display the Valentine’s Day Division #1 worksheet and point to the first problem.
  • Explain to students that you will model how to solve the first problem, 8 ÷ 4, in five different ways. Some of the strategies will require the candy hearts, while some will not.
  • Model how to solve the problem using Skip counting.
  • Say, "I will skip count by the divisor, which is 4, until I get to the dividend, which is 8. Skipping two groups of four is eight. So 2 is my answer."
  • Model how to solve the problem using a Number line.
  • Say, "I can draw a number line and label it with notches. Starting at the 8, I skip count backwards by my divisor, which is 4. I jump to the 4 and then I jump to the 0. Since I did two jumps of 4, 2 is my answer."
  • Model how to solve the problem using Equal groups.
  • Say, "I will use my divisor, which is 4, to determine how many circles I should make. Then, I put an equal number of candy hearts in each of those circles until I have a total of 8 candy hearts. I end up with two candy hearts in four circles, which is 8. That means that 2 is my answer."
  • Model how to solve the problem using Fact families.
  • Say, "I know that I can multiply 4 by 2 to get 8. So that means I can divide 8 by 4 and get 2. I also know that 8 divided by 2 is 4. I know that 2 is my answer because I know the other facts in the fact family."
  • Model how to solve the problem using Repeated subtraction.
  • Say, "I will subtract the divisor, which is 4, until I get 0. Then, I count up how many times I subtracted and that is my answer. I subtracted two times, so my answer is 2."
(15 minutes)
  • Divide students into small groups or partnerships.
  • Explain to them that they will be using the different strategies shown before as they solve the rest of the problems on the division worksheet.
  • Hand out a copy of the Valentine’s Day Division #1 worksheet to each student.
  • Tell students that they do not have to do the first problem because it was already done for them.
  • Remind students that you should see them working with the candy hearts and not eating them at this point in the lesson.
  • Circulate while students work in order to assess their proficiency with the different division strategies.
  • Review the answers to some or all of the division problems, depending on time.
  • Have students model strategies using the heart candies if applicable.
(15 minutes)
  • Pass out the Valentine’s Day Division #2 worksheet.
  • Explain to students that they will complete these problems on their own. They may use the candy hearts from earlier in the lesson to serve as manipulatives.
  • Remind students of the expectations for independent work time.
  • Monitor students as they work.

Support:Reduce the number of problems for students who need additional support and time.

Enrichment:Challenge advanced learners to create division word problems with the division problems on the worksheet. Further the challenge by instructing them to solve the problem using all five division strategies.

(5 minutes)
  • Collect the Valentine’s Day Division #2 worksheet from students as a check for understanding.
  • Display a division problem on the board: 21 ÷ 7 =
  • Instruct students to solve the problem on their whiteboards by using a strategy of their choosing. When they finish their work, they should flip the whiteboard so no one else sees their work.
  • Give students one minute to complete the problem.
  • Signal the students to show the whiteboard to you for a quick check of the strategies being used and the accuracy of the answers.
(5 minutes)
  • Divide students into no more than five small groups.
  • Give each group an envelope with an index card inside. Each index card has one of the following phrases written on it: skip counting, number lines, equal groups, fact families, repeated subtraction.
  • Explain to students that they will have two minutes to discuss the concept and how it related to the Valentine’s Day division lesson today.
  • Students may eat their candy hearts during this part of the lesson.

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