6 Equal Group Number Stories

Chapter six also introduces students to equal group number stories:

I have 3 boxes.  Each box has 5 books.  How many books do I have in all?

We will spend a lot of time learning first how to tell these stories and then how to write them.  One little trick I explain to them is that these stories usually use the word each, and it’s usually the first word of the second sentence.  I will explain to the students,  “Pick an idea, for example, dogs.  Then think about what each of the dogs have in common for your next sentence.  I have six dogs.  Each one has two ears.  How many ears is that?”

We will spend just as much time learning how to tell one of these stories as we will spend learning how to solve them.  It really does take the students time to get used to distinguishing these stories from the others.  They immediately want to add the two numbers stated in the story.

The best practice at home is to have the students make up stories like this.   Tell them to each other.  Let them hear you make up one, and then let them.  You don’t have to worry about solving them right away; you can if you keep the numbers rather low, but the goal here is to help them understand this new kind of number story.

After they start to understand, go back and ask them to make up a story that is not an equal sharing number story – just a basic addition or subtraction story.