Bracelet Wrap Up

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SWBAT solve multiplication word problems involving beaded bracelets

Big Idea

Students practice multiplication skills within a context that is familiar to them.

Warm Up

7 minutes

Students solve 2 multi-digit multiplication problems as a warm up in this lesson.Students solve the problems on their whiteboards and then hold their whiteboards up for me, and the class, to see when they are finished solving.  Students solved the problems 36 x 45 and 87 x 23

As this multiplication unit draws to an end, it is especially important that I note which students still need further scaffolds and support in order to help them progress in multiplication.  This quick white-board warm up allows me to observe students and make mental and written notes about re-teaching and intervention opportunities. 

At the completion of this unit, students who do not show proficiency with multi-digit multiplication will have an opportunity to participate in a morning math intervention group. The intervention group is for fourth grade students only and meets each morning for a half an hour before school.  The group is facilitated by a paraprofessional who also has an elementary teaching certificate.  She and I work closely together in determining what types of activities and interventions would help move the group towards proficiency. The focus of this intervention group is multi-digit multiplication. 

Therefore, it is extremely important that I am observing and making notes about students calculations, questions, and inaccuracies in order to make decisions about which students would benefit by participating in the morning math group.

Concept development

50 minutes

This is the third day in a three day series of multiplication and bracelets lessons. The goal of this lesson is to allows time for students work with their learning partners to finish the beads problem solving worksheet.  By working together, a second had goal for this lesson is that students will engage in math talk or CCSS Math Practice Standard 3. 

Problem solving is an important part of this lessons because it helps develop students problem solving and perseverance skills and is more motivating than teaching the skills without a context.   

Without the experience of building bracelets, I believe my students would have had less motivation in this assignment and would have struggled more to make sense of the situation. Because they had a hands on experience, and an understanding of what they needed to do in order to make a bracelet, the bead problem solving sheet allowed for productive struggle and math conversations.  I didn't hear a single, "I don't get it!"  as students completed the worksheet. They had context and background knowledge to rely on.

 In this video, students are working together to solve a problem. 


In this video, you can hear a student talking about solving 32 x 5.  When I originally looked at his paper, I was confused because he had written 32 x 5 and 30 x 5.  In this video, you can hear him talk about how 30 x 5 is easier to solve than 32 x 5 and he solves the 30 x 5 first in order to solve the 32 x 5. I like this student's explanation because it was a great reminder to me that I have a wide range of abilities in my classroom in terms of multiplication and that is important to remember and keep a pulse on for reteaching.


This next video is a student who was moving quickly through this problem solving sheet. I believe his ease of talking about what he did is from being able to build and create the bracelets, building background knowledge and context.

Student debrief - Wrap up

5 minutes

I lead a brief discussion about problem solving and how our bracelets served as a model when working through the bead problem solving worksheet.

I asked students what they liked best about this project.  I did this because I truly want to know what my students think and feel. I also want them to understand that I care about their learning and want each of them to succeed.

In this video, a student explains what she liked best about the project.