Students will start today's lesson with a fluency assessment. This assessment is from Monitoring Basic Skills Progress Second Edition: Basic Math Computation by Lynn S. Fuchs, Carol L. Hamlett, and Douglas Fuchs.
This is an assessment I have my students do each week and then graph their results. It allows them to reflect on their learning of basic math facts, as well as using all four operations with whole numbers, and adding and subtracting unit fractions. (It also happens to be the quietest time in my math classroom all week!!)
I do not start my students with the fourth grade skills. I chose to start them with the end of the third grade skills which covers addition, subtraction and multiplication and division of basic facts. I strongly believe in a balanced math approach, which is one reason why I also believe in common core standards. By having a balance of building conceptual understanding, application of problems, and computational fluency, students can experience rigorous mathematics. I want to make clear that this assessment ONLY measures basic math computation. It is only one piece of students' knowledge. The assessments in this book, for each grade level, do not change in difficulty over the course of the year. Therefore, a student's increase in score over the school year truly reflects improvement in the student's ability to work the math problems at that grade level.
Students work in this lesson to deepen their understanding of multiplication and master CCSS 4.NBT.5.
I start this lesson by quickly reviewing the methods discussed yesterday by directing students attention at the multiplication chart saved on the board. Then I write a double digit by one digit multiplication problem on the board for students to solve. I let them choose the method they prefer for solving.
Then I list a triple digit by one digit multiplication problem on the board for students to solve. I talk and model through the problem with students using the area model. I use the area model since the next future lesson will be incorporating area models with double digit by double digit multiplication. I ask questions to guide students to make connections between the area model for double digit by one digit multiplication and triple digit by one digit multiplication. From past experience, this is a fun moment to watch as students observe the similarities between double digit and triple digit numbers multiplied by one digit numbers. By stressing place value vocabulary, students are more likely to make the transition between double digits and double digits multiplied by one digit numbers.
Note: My students did amazing making this transition. Many of them were using correct place value terms when naming numbers and describing how methods were working.
For the remainder of this lesson, about 20 minutes, students break into groups to make a commercial for their favorite multiplication method. I direct students to specific areas in the room labeled with A, B, C, D, E, and F which correspond to the chart on the board. If one method has more than 4 or 5 students in it, I ask students to split into two smaller groups. Students design a commercial showcasing their favorite multiplication method as listed on the chart. I ask them to come up with an interesting beginning that introduces the multiplication method they chose, and to show a problem and talk about how the method works.
This is a crazy, loud, but fun time in the lesson. Students really enjoy this part of the lesson and being able to work with peers on an engaging activity that incorporates math talk, which incorporates Math Practice Standard 3. Not only are students deepening their understanding of multiplication, but they are actively engaging in math discourse. Students are responsible for videoing their group and coming up with a plan. I have 3 Ipads and my smartphone available as videoing devices students are allowed to use.
The following videos are a sampling of what my student created in their 20 minutes.
And of course, some groups had to record several times. This next video is gives a good example of the noise level in my classroom. You can hear several groups in the background videoing or practicing to video.
Students clean up their areas and put their whiteboards and other materials away. Students work right up to the very end of class for this project. If I had more time, it would allow for a brief students warm up to make connections between the methods.