The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Modeling Multiplication Situations

Today was day four of our collaborative multiplication unit this week. For the first few days, the students worked in groups of two or three, decoding multiplication in array models and starting some work on the other types of multiplication models. We decided to allow the students the opportunity to work on their own today.

We gave each student a worksheet that provided eight multiplication stories that demonstrated several different models of multiplication, including arrays, equal groups, area, and comparisons. Each student selected a multiplication fact to explore by plugging the factors into the variables into the situations. For each situation, the students were directed to draw a picture, label the parts, describe the specific model, write a number sentence, and explain what the answer meant. To help the students capture this process, the Teacher Collaborator who has been working with them all week walked them through the first situation.

After doing an example together, we gave all of the students time to work on their own at their seats. After plugging the factors into each situation, they selected four to model following the procedure listed above. After completing the worksheet, the students were encouraged to come up with their own situations. While I expected to see several examples that looked like the other situations we created for them, I was surprised to see some fairly complex situations, as well, such as complex rate models. Tomorrow is the last day of this project, in which the students will work with their partners to create posters illustrating the different ways that a multiplication sentence can be represented. I have been very pleased with the progress of this project so far, and am looking forward to seeing how everything will wrap up!





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