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ERIC Number: EJ1110953
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Aug
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1073-5836
When the Answer Is the Question
Battreal, Vanessa M.; Brewster, Vanessa; Dixon, Juli K.
Teaching Children Mathematics, v23 n1 p30-37 Aug 2016
After teaching the concept of division with remainders for many years, Vanessa Battreal, Vanessa Brewster, and Juli Dixon noticed that interpreting remainders in contextualized problems is particularly challenging for elementary school students. To effectively interpret remainders, students must attend to problem context and consider carefully what the remainder represents (Van de Walle, Karp, and Bay-Williams 2013). In this article, Battreal, Brewster, and Dixon describe a strategy as a response to the observed dilemma involving issues with interpreting the remainder that engages students in problem posing. Their response was to pose problems that helped their students focus on problem context to successfully interpret remainders in division word problems. Problem posing in mathematics has been described as an essential component for a thorough understanding of mathematics concepts for both students and teachers (Brown and Walter 1993). In fact, mathematics educators have suggested that integrating problem solving and problem-posing situations into mathematics curriculum positively impacts students' mathematical thinking and ability to connect mathematics to the real world (Abu-Elwan 1999). After a brief review of the different ways to interpret remainders in division problems, the authors detail their efforts to understand and address their students' difficulties through a two-day lesson.
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-9840; Fax: 703-476-2570; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A