According to more than one group of students it looks like what’s shown in today’s picture.

“I know 1 polar bear is the same as 3 zebras, so I crossed those off deck 1. Then on the second deck, 1 elephant equals 2 bears, so then I just cut everything in half since I had 2 bears. ”

It was great listening to students reason through what makes a half a half as they shared their strategies and solutions. Thanks to Fawn Nguyen who shared this problem during our morning Middle School sessions at TMC13.

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It’s interesting to see what your students determined was 1/2 of 2 kangaroos and four seals. I did the problem this week with my seventh graders, and nearly all of them broke it down by animal — they said one of the polar bears equals 2 kangaroos and the other polar bear equals 4 seals. Some took that “fact” farther to determine that one kangaroo = 2 seals. It made for a great introduction to “My Favorite No” on the follow-up day!

Your comment is reminding me that I need to get more problem solving time into my lesson plans!! Thanks! I did have a couple students try the same thing as yours–and it wasn’t until I asked them to test out their “facts” with other decks that they realized there was something faulty with their logic, but they weren’t quite sure what. The whole idea of 1/2 was a great lead in to working with fractions for my sixth graders though.