We just colored these hard-boiled eggs that you see in the picture above. Each child wants to make sure that he/she has the same number of eggs, so I took this opportunity to explore division and practice it too! Regardless if we were going to color the eggs, or eat them, everyone wants to have their equal share, so distributing the eggs equally was a good way to show how division works. This goes for eating the eggs for breakfast, as a snack, or with any food item, the concept of equality is always there.
After boiling the eggs, we needed to let them cool off. Afterwards, each child was handed their plate for their eggs they were going to color. We started with 15 eggs and I asked the older ones how many eggs each of us should get if there are three of us. Then I did the distribution of the eggs one at a time. Each of the three plates received one egg at first, then two, then three, checking each time if each plate has the same number of eggs. We checked back to see how were left and if we could still distribute those eggs. We did this until all eggs were equally distributed.
Each plate now had 5 eggs for each of the 3 plates. This makes 15 eggs divided by 3 plates to equal 5 eggs each. But what if we had one egg leftover, or two eggs leftover? We could divide each egg into three equal parts and distribute those equally, but we face the concept of context.
Something to Think About:
In this context of coloring eggs, it does not make sense to divide a hard-boiled egg into three equal parts because who wants to color a third of an egg? This is a wonderful conversation to have with your child.
In this “egg”citing activity, this is about starting with a quantity of eggs that will result in everyone having an equal number of whole eggs. If you scramble your eggs, then it might not matter about everyone each getting and egg and a third of an egg because the context is different. Sometimes, mathematics is all about the context of it all.
Another important piece is talking about what other contexts hold division in distributing everything equally? What cultures and communities share all their food equally with everyone? How does this relate to using division and how important is it to divide equally? What are some other examples where things need to be divided equally and why is that important? Asking ourselves and our children these questions places the mathematics of division in a contextual situation, something more real to us in life than what is on paper.
Trust me, Mathematics is really “egg”citing! So get to exploring and think back to how you practice Mathematics in your life! Enjoy!