Time 4 Fractions – Problem #4 – Making toys

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

Here is Problem #4, a second measurement division problem.

Time 4 Fractions –  Problem #4 – Making ToysMsButternutt

Level Yellow : Ms. Butternut makes wooden toys. She has 5 wheels. She needs 2 wheels to make a motorcycle. How many motorcycles can she make?

Level Orange : Ms. Butternut makes wooden toys. She has 14 wheels. She needs 4 wheels to make a car. How many cars can she make?

Level Red : Ms. Butternut makes wooden toys. She has 31 wheels. She needs ____ wheels to make a heavy truck. How many heavy trucks can she make?

As always, invite your child to solve one of the problems 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 all Levels, Ms Butternut has a left over of wheels.

When your child is done, invite him/her to share his/her reasoning with you. By now, you know the routine, right ?  :-)

Sharing my experience

Last week, my child decided to mostly model the problems. I think she was not sure how to represent the problem, and confused with the equation she could use. This week, it sure was different, as she seemed more confident in her exploration. Problem4

With Level Orange, she started with drawing 14 wheels, and took away groups of 4 one at a time. With such strategy, she quickly saw the equation that could be associated to her reasoning: a repeated subtraction (which is how division can be seen). She used the left over to make a bicycle, but your child may state that Ms Butternut has 2 wheels left.

With Level Red (33 wheels, 6 wheels / truck), she decided to draw tallies (by groups of 5) to represent 33 wheels. Then, as previously, she took away groups of 6, to end up with 5 trucks (and a tricycle i.e 3 wheels left). Now, I do not know how she did not get confused with taking groups of 6 out of her tiny groups of 5 tallies, but she did say along the process that  “maybe using tallies was not such a good idea”. I enjoyed watching Rosie discover on her own that some representations may work better in some situations, and less in others. Indeed, it is going to be up to her to select the most useful one depending on the problem.

I am also sharing below the work of a friend’s child, a 5th grader solving Level Red. In parallel with writing the equation, and labeling each part of it, the child also explained the model she could use to solve the problem.


I am starting noticing interesting connections at home. I will write a special post “Reflections on Fractions” later this week. Stay tuned !

2 responses to “Time 4 Fractions – Problem #4 – Making toys

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