Thursday, May 29, 2014

iMultiply- A Multiplication Unit

I love- love- love teaching multiplication! I'm not quite sure why but I think know my enthusiasm rubs off on my students. I can honestly say that this was probably one of the funner units I've created this year. Not only did I make the iMultiply Unit- I also made several games that my students are absolutely loving so far. In fact, everyday since I've started the unit, I've made a new game to play the following day. #compulsive #Iknow....

So, the last time I shared a post I had just finished making the iMultiply lapbooks with my students. This post will highlight how I actually teach the unit.

I started day two with having everyone "explore" multiplication concepts with the counting cubes. I had students count using groups of two and we wrote math problems to go with each set that was made (i.e. 2 + 2+ 2= 6). Very basic, I know- my students let me know also, lol! But, like I shared with them, to start off I use very easy, very basic examples- this will help solidify the concept. As the numbers get larger and the groups get bigger, it won't be as difficult because the concept is solid.

So.... after a few minutes with the cubes- I jumped right in to our 2 x's.  First I had everyone count by two's as a group. I then modeled how 2, 2+2, 2x2, and 4 are all related. I did the same with 2, 2+2+2, 2x3, and 6- and so on and so forth. This helped my students to see the pattern in multiplication- repeated addition.  I then spent some time explaining the multiplication concept and we filled in the "key words" and "strategies" in our lapbooks. I used a few anchor charts to illustrate our new concept. After discussing the concept, we made a simple 2 x's collage by taking a large piece of construction paper and folding it 4 times so that when you opened it, there were 8 squares. In each square they demonstrated each strategy- an array, cummutative property, groups, and repeated addition. It was amazing to watch them transform from "huh--what?" to "oh...I get it!" I wanted them to create the collage because it was a simple way to repeat the multiplication strategies/patterns over and over again. I started them out with  2 x1 and 2 x 2. We then did 2x3- 2x5 together. Following the group review, they had to finish the rest of the collage on their own.

After students finished with their collages, they completed a multiplication sheet that focused on making arrays and adding groups of numbers on one side. On the other side they could use the cubes to answer multiplication problems. Overall, they did great. For homework they did a simple drill sheet.

Day 3- I kicked it up a notch.

I started this lesson by counting by 2's as a group. I then had students write the first twelve multiples of 2 (up to 24). I had them do this several times (rote memorization). I then demonstrated how knowing the first 12 multiples of any number will help them learn their facts without having to use scrap paper. This is how I explained.... I write the first 12 multiples on the board in a vertical line. I then demonstrate- 2x1= 2 and I point to the 2. I then say 2x2= 4- I count down two times and land on the four, 2x3= 6- I count down three times and land on the six. I do this for all of the multiplication facts and my students start to say it with me as a I go. The students practice some sample problems that I place on the board after the quick lesson and practice finding the answers using the "countdown" strategy. Teaching this strategy with the 2 x's is easy because most kids can count by 2's with no problem. After practicing the "count down" strategy, I had students complete a sheet with about 20 multiplication problems. Students can use the "count down" strategy to answer each problem- unless they already have the fact memorized, then they just answer. The kids got real into this because again, the 2's are fairly easy. I let them build confidence throughout the week while strengthening their concept of the strategy. Once they did the drill sheet I gave them some time to play a few of the multiplication games that I made for them. The last five minutes of the lesson I gave them a timed quiz. For homework, they got a simple drill sheet. The good thing is, now that they understand the "countdown" strategy, they can multiply any two numbers between 1-12 even though we haven't formally learned them yet- for example we haven't gotten to our 6 x's; however, because the students understand the count down strategy, they can figure out 6x4 by counting by 6.

Water Ballon Fight! A Multiplication Game Students LOVE! Click HERE to check this game out in my TPT store 

Day 4- Students became competitive! (I wonder why, lol)

I started the lesson with a timed test. This is a basic multiplication worksheet focusing on the 2's with about 100 mixed problems. I gave them five minutes to answer as many problems as they could. Once the timer went off, they circled the last answer they completed. Many were frustrated after this test and I used this as a teachable moment. I told them to make note of where they finished and to think about the problems that "stumped" them. I then reminded them to make sure they focused on those problems during their drill and practice. I told them that the next time we take the test, their goal is to do better- even if that means answering just a few more problems than before.  After a few grunts and moans they were ready to move on and we did our "count down drill". I timed them again and had them write their multiples as many times as they could for 5 minutes. They got so into this. The room became kind of noisy- but it was like brain spinning noise. They became really focused with writing their multiples and talking out loud to themselves. When the timer went off you can imagine the uproar! We then moved on to drill and practice. Some students worked with the blocks depending on how well they did with their drill sheets, others played multiplication games. I floated around the room and worked with anyone who needed support. Or I played referee for those who were racing!

After about 15-20 minutes of games, we wrapped up the lesson by ending with another timed test. This is the same exact test they took at the start of the lesson (I photocopy the test on the front and back of the paper). Most students do better the second time around and they learn a very important lesson. I stress that anything new can be difficult and/or uncomfortable at first but the more we practice, the easier things become. What I love to hear most is, "Ms. Wainwright, I am learning! It is getting easier for me!" Believe it or not, this goes a long way. Not just for my ego- but students become very aware of the progress they are making on a daily basis.

Moving on to the 3's! 

At the start of this week, we focused on our 3x's following the same routine that we did on day 4. This is our new math routine and will be for the next couple of weeks. The students enjoy it, they are learning and it is all student centered. I will continue to throw in practice sheets highlighting subtraction, measurement, graphing, time and money throughout the weeks that we are focusing on multiplication.  This is an easy (and stress free) way to conclude the school year.

Are you looking for resources to reinforce multiplication in the classroom? Or, are you looking for meaningful and engaging games to get you to the end of the school year? Check out the resources I use with my students!

Bubble Fun is a sorting game that helps build automaticity with multiplication facts. Students can play with a partner or  independently. This is a favorite in my class. My students like to race, time each other or compete against the clock! Multiplication has made them slightly competitive! Click HERE to check it out in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. 

This is a favorite that I added to my store last year and it is one of my top sellers! If you love file folder games, you will love this bundled set!

How do you teach multiplication? Leave a comment below sharing your favorite strategies. 
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