The children were so eager to arrive the next morning and rushed to their traps to see what had been caught. The leprechaun was not in any of them but had left them a note saying that he appreciated their efforts and had left them a pile of gold to share. The children, of course, were thrilled!
I displayed the gold on our carpet and asked them to consider how we would divide it up. I challenged them to think of a different strategy than ten frames, which had been used when we divided up a large amount of gummy bears the previous week.
At first the children wanted to divide the gold in half, because they thought it would help them figure out how much gold there was, which would then tell them how many pieces each child would receive. We tried this but it didn't seem to help.
"Let's put it in groups of ten because ten is a friendly number," one child suggested.
The children agreed and we grouped the coins by ten.
"Not enough groups for us...there are more than six kids here!"
"Let's try five; five is a friendly number too and we just have to divide each pile in half," another child suggested. So we created groups of five.
"Still not enough! We have fifteen friends here today, not twelve. We need three more piles if we use five."
"Okay, let's try three! Three should work!"
So the children helped me reorganize the coins into piles of three.
"Now we have left overs! Twenty piles is way too many! That won't work either." The children continued to brainstorm aloud and think about how to best divide up the gold. They wanted to maximize how many they each got!