Yesterday, my class worked on creating equal groups with objects. They all know about multiplication and ways to solve multiplication. In today's warm up, I ask students "What do you think multiplication is?" I am looking for a way into discussing this operation as work with equal groups.
This clip shows a portion of my student's responses. Notice I do not correct or guide. I simply listen. I will ask it again in the wrap up. Some of the students aren't using the right vocabulary yet, which tells me this lesson is necessary.
We use a graphic organizer at times to help keep track and promote further thinking. I have chosen to use this chart in today's activity. It is a simple 4 square organizer with the sections labeled:
I can explain with tools
I can explain with words
I can explain with numbers
I can explain with drawings
The students are then asked to take two scoops from their object cups (pennies, cubes, colored chips) and count the total. They then roll a die and organize their objects into equal groups of that number. Finally, they use that model to fill in their 4 square organizer.
Here, I am looking for students to be able to complete the model, attempt a story problem to represent the model, write an equation, and draw their model.
You can see in the resource section what this looks like. Most of the time was spent on just one problem for the partnerships. If students were able to complete one organizer, they simply turned the page over and began a new one with new numbers.
As a wrap up, I ask the students again, as a full group, "What is Multiplication?". Many more students are able to communicate that it is the counting of equal groups. The equal group is the "group size" when "thinking" of a story.
For home practice, I ask the students to get a handful of objects, roll a die, or pick a card 1-6, and create an organizer just as we did in class.
The more opportunity to work with equal groups, the better.