4th Grade Math : Unit #1 - Back To Understanding the Basics! : Lesson #10

Summer Budget!

Objective: SWBAT solve multi-step word problems using and the four basic operations.
Standards: 4.OA.A.3 4.NBT.A.2 MP1 MP3
Subject(s): Math
60 minutes
1 Warm Up - 20 minutes

Journal Paper: note taking paper.pdf

To begin this lesson student will write in their math journals.  I chose to have them write about rounding because some students get a bit confused about this concept. 

Because we will be testing on this objective in about two weeks, I wanted to do a quick demonstration with students.  Additionally, I want students to have an opportunity to have time exploring rounding. Rounding help students become aware of giving  reasonable responses.

  I tell students the last time I reviewed your journals, you forgot to include a model, so be sure to do that.  For today’s journal entry you guys will think of a number when rounded to the nearest hundred, its sum is 800. Write a detail explanation as to why the number you chose is correct.  On this entry please be sure to illustrate the number using a number line.  I may stop here for a minute or two to demonstrate how to use a number line when rounding. 

I give them about 8 minutes or so to write. After that I may ask student volunteers to share out. This is a quick reference to determine what students know.

This lesson will focus on the following Mathematical Practices:

 MP.1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. 

MP.2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively. 

MP.4. Model with mathematics. 

MP.5. Use appropriate tools strategically. 

MP.6. Attend to precision. 

MP.7. Look for and make use.

2 Exploring the Budget - 30 minutes

Before the group work, I decide to model how to solve. The students and I work on this together, and I leave it posted as an Anchor Chart. Teacher's Model Multi Step Word Problem.docx


 In this portion of the lesson I want students to assist me with creating a budget for my summer vacation.  I tell students, that last year I went over my budget, and had to cut back from eating all those nice hamburgers during the week.  Do you think you can help me? Now here are the three things I would like for you to do before you get an actual total.  First, I want to estimate the cost. Second, I want you to create words, pictures and numbers that will help you solve this problem. 


 Last year I spent $1350.00 on plane ticket, $820.00 on hotel cost, and $ 478.00 on food and other activities.  How much did I spend in all for the trip?

About how much will I pay for my summer vacation?

As students worked on solving the multi-step equation, I circle the room to reinforce and assist as needed.  For instance, I notice some students rounded the total of the plane ticket, hotel cost, and food. 

$1,400.00 for plane ticket, $800.00 for hotel cost, and $ 500.00 for food

What I noticed:

Some students made errors; however, they caught it when they added the original numbers.  This helps them understand the importance of estimating before you solve.  I remind students of their original assignment, and many notice that they forgot to explain and illustrate how they got their answers. However, I want them to practice a bit on writing numbers in word form.  I give an extra challenge for today! I say if you can write at least two of the given totals in word form correctly, I will give you a free home work pass! Of course students raced to write numbers.  For example, some students wrote eight hundred twenty, and four hundred seventy-eight.  I applaud them for their efforts, and encourage them to continue practicing writing numbers everyday.

Adding Creative Touches

 I want them to be creative, so I provide them with posters and crayons. Many students use number lines to show rounding, and pictorial representations to represent the plane, hotel, and food. At this point in the lesson I fell more like a facilitator watching the students’ check, explain, and illustrate their answers.


3 Budget Total - 20 minutes

Before they tackle their independent work. I model how to respond and explain their thinking mathematically. I leave the example posted as an Anchor Chart to assist them in their learning.Examples of Explanations.docx

In this portion of the lesson I allow students to finish up their work.  Some students need support explaining. I may ask question like: Can you model how to round?, Can you explain how you got your answers?  What was your first, second, … step?  As students explain, I ask them to jot down a couple of notes to help them remember. I explain not to worry about spelling right now, but to concentrate more on getting the steps in the correct order.  After students finish, and supplies are neatly put away, I ask students a couple of questions:

What math practice did you guys use today?

Can you explain?

Students are eager to respond. I notice students connected to the lesson because many of them have gone on vacations before.  Some students said, they would say this information with their parents, so that they can budget for their summer vacation.




What I Noticed!
Gradual Release


I noticed that several of my students needed several attempts to solve/explain their problem solving steps.  Basically, I gave additional questions and group students according to their ability to give them the time they needed to explore.  I encourage them to discuss several strategies, including estimation and compatible numbers. For struggling students I encourage them to use the Anchor charts I posted earlier to help remind them of the necessary steps. Students may need a gradual release when learner newer concepts.