Time 4 Fractions – Problem #3 – Baskets of eggs

This is the fourth post related to our Time 4 Fractions journey. Please click here to start from the beginning.

Hope your child had fun exploring Problem #1, and Problem #2, two multiplication problems. Here is Problem #3, a measurement division problem (also called quotative division problem), our second step towards Equal Sharing problems (Empson & Levi, 2011, p 9).

Time 4 Fractions –  Problem #3 – Baskets of eggs

 Level Yellow : Mr Moose has 4 eggs and some baskets. He wants to put 2 eggs in each basket. How many baskets can he fill?

 Level Orange : Mr Moose has 12 eggs and some baskets. He wants to put 3 eggs in each basket. How many baskets can he fill?

 Level Red : Mr Moose has 20 eggs and some baskets. He wants to put ___ eggs in each basket. How many baskets can he fill?

As with Problem #1 and #2, invite your child to solve one of the problems (you can pick one, or let him/her pick one) by

  1. modeling the problem with manipulatives (such as buttons, marbles, etc, and small containers),
  2. representing the problem on a piece of paper, and/or
  3. writing an equation.

With Level Yellow and Orange, all eggs will be dispatched in a basket, and Mr Moose will have no egg left. With Level Red, invite the child to pick the number of eggs he/she wants to put in each basket. Depending on the number he/she picks, though, please note that Mr Moose may have some eggs left.

When your child is done, invite him/her to share his/her reasoning with you. If he/she writes only an equation, encourage him/her to share his/her strategy with a visual representation, or with manipulative.

Enjoy following his/her way of thinking !

Sharing my experience

  • Since it was our first division problem, we spent a lot of time modeling, with marbles and containers. We did Level Yellow, Level Orange, but also Level Red, with 5 eggs per baskets. And when I said “we”, it is my child leading her exploration, and myself saying “tell me about what you are doing” from time to time. Nothing more, really. Symbols she may not know yet, formal teaching will occur in time, at school.
  • An observation I found quite comforting regarding our journey is my child saying “You see, the more eggs you put, the less baskets you need !”, noticing the relationship between the number of items, the number of groups of items and the number of items in each group.  Do you see how this kind of connection relates somewhat to fractions, and the fact that sharing an item in 8 (1/8) provides smaller pieces than sharing the same item in 2  (1/2), i.e. the number 1/8 is smaller than the number 1/2 ? It is all about mathematical relationships.

Have fun, and see you next week for Problem #4 !


Empson, S. E., and Levi, L. (2011). Extending Children’s Mathematics: Fractions and Decimals. Portsmouth, NH : Heinemann. ISBN-13: 978-0325030531.

2 responses to “Time 4 Fractions – Problem #3 – Baskets of eggs

  • Kate DeAlmeida

    My daughter and I are really enjoying the problems that you post and the time that we spend exploring them together. Keep them coming! She now automatically uses manipulatives (gaming stones and bathroom cups), followed by a picture, and then finally an equation. On the egg/basket yellow problem she got the correct answer and showed her work correctly with manipulatives and pictures, but she wrote the equation 2 + 2 = 4. I had no idea how to react to this. I recognized this as a teaching moment but totally blanked on how to ask questions to get her to realize that the equation did not match how she solved the problem. Any advice would be appreciated!

    • Journey2helpchildrenwithmath

      So so glad you enjoy our T4F journey !
      My daughter has not learned symbols related to multiplication and division yet. So sometimes she does… what your daughter seems to be doing, using her prior knowledge to write an addition or subtraction equation, that may match the finished picture, but not how she solved the problem. And I am OK with that as long as she can explain me her equation, and connect it to her drawing/model (I may ask her questions like “Tell me about the 4. Where does it come from?” or “Why did you use the symbol + ?”). When she learns a more efficient way to do a repeated addition (see what she did with Problem #7) or a repeated subtraction (division), we can come back to Mr Moose and discuss if there is another equation they could write. Does it make sense? Happy to discuss further otherwise ☺

Would love to hear from you !

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