Transcontinental Railroad: The Challenge of Bridging a Continent
Railroad Math

Instructional Time: 45 minutes on Day 2

Each student will receive a worksheet with one math word problem that would have been something the railroad builders faced. Topics will include money spent, number of workers, hours of labor, and distance of railroad track. The students will attempt to solve the problem on their own, using what they know about addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They will include the following:

-An equation that represents the math that the problem requires

-At least 3 sentences explaining why they used that equation

-A solution to the problem

-A picture or diagram that shows their reasoning

During the last 15 minutes, students will form groups with other students who had the same word problem (3-4 students per group). Each student will present his or her solution to the group for feedback. After every student has presented, the students may make additions to their worksheets before turning them in for evaluation.

To see a sample, please view the Railroad Math worksheet.


Checking for Understanding

Observation, a Railroad Math Rubric


MA.4.3.3. Solve problems involving multiplication of multidigit numbers by two-digit numbers.
MA.4.3.4. Solve problems involving division of multidigit numbers by one-digit numbers.
Mathematical Reasoning
MA.4.2.0 Students use strategies, skills, and concepts in finding solutions:
MA.4.2.4. Express the solution clearly and logically by using the appropriate mathematical notation and terms and clear language; support solutions with evidence in both verbal and symbolic work.