Sunday, September 21, 2014

Marvelous Multipliers

In third grade, one of the most important math skills we learn is how to multiply. Before we can start memorizing our facts we need to have a very solid understanding of the concept of multiplication. That will not only help us learn our facts more quickly, it will also help us in so many different math skills we will learn through the rest of third grade and the years ahead.

We have been working hard over the past two weeks or so doing a variety of activities to make sure we have a good understanding of what multiplication means.

Here are just a few of the things we've been doing.

We read the book One Hundred Hungry Ants. In this book 100 ants are on the way to a picnic. As they march to get their supper, the littlest ant keeps telling them to divide themselves different. First all 100 are together, then they are in two rows of 50, then four rows of 25, then five rows of 20, etc.

After reading the book we got got to see how many different groupings we could find for our 100 "ants". We ended up with lots of different ways to group 100 evenly, many more than were in the book! Two groups of 50, twenty groups of 5, fifty groups of 2, ten groups of 10, four groups of 25 and on and on and on!

We also read the book Amanda Bean's Amazing Dream, about a girl who sees multiplication EVERYWHERE!

After reading that book, we started looking everywhere for multiplication as well. It didn't take long to find some multiplication problems in the classroom and around the school. We mostly found arrays, and we snapped some pictures and used the app Skitch to show what multiplication problem we found. Here are some examples!

 This calendar is an array with 5 rows and 7 in each row.

This bulletin board is an array of 3 rows and 8 in each row.

We are always looking for examples of multiplication around us so more Skitch's might be coming.

Another thing we did was to make a screencast. A screencast is both a recording and a video. We solve a math problem on the iPad and we record our thinking as we solve the problem. It is a great way to share what we are learning. We each had a multiplication equation and we first had to think of a story problem to go along with the multiplication equation. After we had that all set, we solved the problem and recorded ourselves solving it. It was a great way to review what we'd learned!

A few of us wrote addition problems at first, so it was also a good or us to stop and think about how multiplication and addition are different.

Here are some of our screencasts using the app Educreations.

Gavin did a screencast with the multiplication problem 4 x 3.

Sara Jean did a screencast with the multiplication problem 5 x 5.

Kaydance made a screencast for 3 x 2.

And Jocelyn made one for 5 x 2.

This was our first time creating screencasts. We did a GREAT job! We will be making more screencasts in the future.

What do you think of what we've been learning in multiplication?

When do you use multiplication in real life?

Do you ever notice examples of multiplication problems--either groups or arrays--around you?

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