Lesson plan

6. Elephant Food: Using arrays and base ten blocks to solve division problems (C)

teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.4.NBT.B.6 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/4/NBT/B/6
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Content.4.OA.A.3 http://corestandards.org/Math/Content/4/OA/A/3
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP1 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP1
teaches Common Core State Standards CCSS.Math.Practice.MP7 http://corestandards.org/Math/Practice/MP7

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Lesson objective: Extend understanding of place values and arrays to answer multi-digit division problems.

Students bring prior knowledge of arrays from 3.OA.A.3. This prior knowledge is extended to multi-digit division problems as students use arrays and decompostion to determine missing factors. A conceptual challenge students may encounter is following the steps required to use an array for multi-digit division. 

The concept is developed through work with base ten block array, which allows students to break up the dividend into partial quotients.

This work helps students deepen their understanding of operations because using place value and the distributive property allows them to solve division problems with multi-digit numbers.

Students engage in Mathematical Practice 7 (Look for and make sure of structure) as they use arrays and base ten blocks to help grasp the structure of the numbers and how they change throughout the operation.

Key vocabulary:

  • array
  • base ten block
  • cube
  • decomposition
  • dividend
  • divisor
  • flat
  • place value
  • quotient
  • rod

Special materials needed:

  • base ten blocks