Monday, September 2, 2013

Integrating Multiplication Strategies

One of the reasons we explore multiple strategies for multiplication or division is to provide students with a toolbox full of strategies so that they can not only show accuracy in solving a problem, but so that they can prove their thinking through multiple approaches. A good mathematician knows that there is more than one way to solve a problem and that by proving their thinking they ensure accuracy.

This module will show how multiple strategies can be used to prove a solution.


Skipping Counting Using Multiplication on a Number Line

Many of the multiplication strategies our third graders are currently using may seem like new concepts. Common Core standards ask students to understand the conceptual knowledge behind math concepts rather than memorize a series of steps or algorithms.

During our unit on multiplication/division students have been immersed in the following strategies:

  • Repeated Addition (multiplication) 
  • Repeated Subtraction (Division)
  • Equal Groups / Equal Shares
  • Number Lines
  • Skip Counting
  • Drawing Models / Pictures
  • Arrays
  • Number Sentences (4 x 5 = 20)
  • Number Bonds (fact families)
The number line strategy has raised the most questions. I am inserting a video that will help to explain how number lines are used in multiplication. The same strategy applies to division only we begin counting from the total and work our way back to zero.

Here's a great website from with a quick tutorial and extra practice:

100 Hungry Ants

We had an amazing math session today. We are currently learning strategies for determining the product of whole numbers. We began yesterday with making the connection between repeated addition (3 + 3 + 3 + 3) and multiplication (3 x 4). Today we read the book One Hundred Hungry Ants and used connecting cubes to model the various arrays demonstrated in our mentor text. The children really enjoyed the lesson. I was very impressed with their math thinking today.