We reviewed PEMDAs using this fun and a little goofy rap song. They loved it! We did it again. Then, we talked about remembering when we solve problems to write them clearly and note each section being solved using a "V" under the parenthesis to point down to the solution. Example:V examples and neat order of solving. One student had noticed that the video rap did not use that handy tool for solving.
I asked my students what the most important concepts in this unit were? I asked them to get out their past assignments, notes and quizzes to help them remember. I asked them to write down 5 most important things they learned in this unit by going over their notes in their notebook. Then, they needed to collaborate with their desk groups. One person would be the notetaker as they conferred with one another to decide what was most important. This collaborative work helps students support one another in understanding what needed to be mastered.
I gave them about 10 minutes or so to talk. When I thought everyone was finished. I asked each group to share one thing that was important.
I listed each thing on the Smart Board. I instructed each student to take notes in their math journal as we progressed.
Their list was very close to having all the learning goals:
PEMDAS: I need to know the order of operations and be able to solve problems using it. ( This does not satisfy any of the 4th grade standards, but supports fluent problem solving.)
I need to know the difference between a group and an array and how to make both.( This helps them understand that there are different ways to understand what multiplication means.)
I need to know how to solve an in and out chart. (This supports 4.OA.C.5)
I need to know what Prime and Composite are. (This supports 4.OA.B.4)
I need to know how to list factor pairs. (This supports 4.OA.B.4)
I had to add: Know the four properties that you have learned and be able to explain why zero times anything is zero using the word "group". This helps reinforce understanding of multiplication properties of 1, 0 and Commutative/Associative properties.
This list was fairly on track for covering all of the standards I expected them to master in this unit. They had done a very good job of deciding what was important to know! This collaborative decision making helps learning become meaningful. I could have easily given them a review sheet, but this takes their thinking and understanding to a higher level and keeps them accountable.
I passed out a review worksheet. Getting Ready for Our Test Multiplication Concepts The worksheet is designed to review what we learned last so that students can systematically use their current notes and remember the unit from the first thing in their minds, which is the last lesson taught. I just really like this technique and find it to be encouraging for those who are anxious about tests. They see success in their review fairly quickly and then it doesn't seem so cumbersome.
I asked students to use their materials from prior lessons and their notes to review for their test. I do this because I want them to practice studying habits that I want them to use at home. I think that they are having a hard time transitioning into these habits. They tend to avoid their notes. Before CCSS, math tests were more about "how" and calculations, rather than writing and explaining why. Notes have become imperative to their success in mastering standards.
I had to remind several of my students to use their resources to review and look at how they had done it before. It made me realize I have to monitor studying habits more.
After students completed the worksheet, they partnered with another student. I roved around the class one more time, looking for anyone struggling with a concept or blank parts of the worksheet. I noticed that number 10 was completely blank on most sheets. I interviewed a few partners to see what was on their mind. I asked them if they could support each other with figuring out what they needed to review or study. These little clips show what was said about partnering up and discussing the review.
A view and sample of in class work.: This video clip shows a little discussion about what is missing yet from their review sheet. It was from this sample that I realized that a quick review of properties would be a good thing.
I asked students to tell me the concepts that were the most challenging to remember. One group said that # 10, trying to identify the properties, was weak. A chorus of students chimed in and agreed.
We reviewed them carefully again:
Commutative Property of Multiplication 3x2=2x3
Associative Property of Multiplication 3x2x3=2x3x2 (3x2) x3 =(3x3)x2 discussiong the parenthesis.
Identity Property of 1 3x1 =3
Identity Property of zero: Any number multiplied by zero is zero because zero groups of a given number represents zero.
One said: " You can't multiply something by zero and expect to get something! There's just nothing there!"
This whole lesson helps support Math Practice 3 as we looked for opinions and decided what was important. Review for test is a video clip showing the wrap up and affirmation that they understand the value of working together and that they are understanding what standards need to be mastered.