Tortoises, Greens, and Grocery Shopping. Division is There Somewhere!

We are guardians of tortoises during Spring and Summer. They love their greens, which means frequent trips for lettuce and greens. Each time we go to buy lettuce at the grocery, I know there must be a division problem somewhere. I then grab three bags and ask, “If we need six lettuce and I have three bags, how many heads of lettuce do we put in each bag?”

The boys think it over and for the first time, they needed help. So I tell them that each bag needs to have the same number of heads of lettuce. I give them time to think. Then I grab two heads of lettuce and place it on one bag. “Now tell me what to do next?” The boys get it that we need to put two heads of lettuce in each of three bags. Great! We move on.

The next few times, I do not need to give hints because they go and put the lettuce in the bags automatically. Sometimes we need four, sometimes we need six, and sometimes we need eight. Then the number of bags changes and so does the number in each bag. This takes five minutes at the maximum and we continue on. Division in context 🙂

Where is this in the math concepts for ages 3-5 years?


  1. Division
  2. Problem Solving
  3. Quantity

Something To Think About:

I do not quiz my kids on math concepts. I find things about math to get them thinking. It really is not a lesson where they sit in front of the chalk board because at home, they cannot sit for that long. So I find moments where even getting lettuce can be a math learning experience. I could have easily made this into an addition problem by asking them, “what is 2 heads of lettuce plus two heads of lettuce, plus two more?” For multiplication, I could have easily asked them, “what is 2 heads of lettuce times 3 bags of them ?”

The more your children interact with the world mathematically, the less hesitation they will have in working with it at school and in life. Just remember this, it is not about getting to the finish line of learning first that is important, it is actually about getting there in the first place.

copyright 2015 learning math with mom

copyright 2015 learning math with mom


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s