Saturday, September 29, 2012
Multiplication Math Journal Goodness
This year I am learning so much about teaching math (thanks to our new math program). For the first time, I finally feel like I can scaffold students' learning appropriately and know what to do to help them when they don't understand. There have been some growing pains as we learn the new strategies, but I'm loving it!
We started a chapter on multiplication last week, and according to my pre-tests, students needed help with arrays, so I decided to take two days to front-load content as we worked in our math journals. Using this poster as inspiration, I introduced multiplication models. We modeled each one, spending a great deal of time modeling arrays with base ten blocks, then drawing them. I knew that they didn't quite understand that "3x5=15" means "three ROWS OF five equals fifteen" (which is why they kept getting arrays wrong. So I focused on teaching them the language. I think the color coding really helped. They drew the picture of the boat rowing across the lake as a reminder that rows go across. The smaller picture of the arrays is stapled to the back of the Multiplication page.
These activities gave the students the foundation they needed to understand the wording and expectations of our new math program, which requires deeper thinking. Plus, it gave them a deeper understanding about multiplication. I'm so glad I took the time to front load this knowledge and fill in some of the gaps they had!