By: Ashley Russell
Melissa Ross and I started the second day of our FCTM conference with a session called "Reorganizing the Candi Shoppe: A Place Value Problem." The presenter of this session was Joanne LaFramenta. We started the session by creating our own definition of the phrase "place value" from a student's point of view and from a teacher's perspective. From there, Ms. LaFramenta explained how uses the situation of a candy shop to get students thinking about place value. For this session, she made the problems more difficult than what would be used in most elementary classrooms. Here was the question that she gave us: How can a candy shop owner keep track of his candy in a more efficient way? All candies are packaged as 8 pieces in a roll and 8 rolls into a box. One situation was to find all of the ways to organize the quantity 192 candies. After several minutes of work time, participants came up with a variety of ways to organize the candies in rolls, boxes, and pieces or a combination of some of the three. Some solutions that were suggested were 3 boxes or 24 rolls. I liked the idea of teaching place value in this way. It would be easy to create accommodations (extensions and easier variations) using the candy shop model.