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Afterschool Lesson Plan Database

Lesson Plan

Number and Operations: Using Gift Certificates
Subject: Math
Grade span: 4 to 5
Duration: 45 to 60 minutes
This lesson was excerpted from the Afterschool Training Toolkit under the promising practice: Math Centers


This sample lesson is one example of how you can implement Math Centers. In this activity, students use number and operation skills to figure out how best to spend a gift certificate at their favorite restaurant.

Learning Goals:



What to Do:

Teaching Tips:

Using Base-10 Blocks

Base-10 blocks are wooden or plastic blocks that represent units of 1, 10, or 100. In this lesson, students can use them as they would play money, to represent quantities as they figure how to spend their gift certificate. Basic 10 blocks are an example of a manipulative, a concrete object that helps some students calculate amounts.

Using Guiding Questions

Guiding questions offer problem-solving prompts that encourage students to think for themselves and use what they know to figure out the answer. For example, students may present an answer and ask you if it is right. Instead of simply saying yes or no, you might want to ask them how they got their answer, if it makes sense to them, and if they know how to check their math to see if their answer is right. In this way, students are using what they know to answer their own question, and learning how to justify their thinking.

Use the following guiding questions or add your own.
  • Can you re-state the problem in your own words?
  • What do you know about the problem? For example, how much can you spend? How many people are using the gift certificate? What does that tell you about how much each person can spend?
  • What method do you plan on using to solve the problem? What is your strategy? How are you keeping track of your thinking and which strategies you have tried?
  • What materials could help you solve the problem?
  • How did you find your answer? Does it make sense?
  • Did you answer the question? Go back and check.
  • What did you learn from other students that helped you solve the problem?
  • Finally, how can you show that your answer is correct?

Evaluate (Outcomes to look for):

Click this link to see additional learning goals, grade-level benchmarks, and standards covered in this lesson.

Online Training for Afterschool Staff
The Afterschool Training Toolkit is available online free of charge.

The following resources can be used with the online Afterschool Training Toolkit to give you the resources you need to build fun, innovative, and academically enriching afterschool activities.