Getting Ready to Quiz: The Greatest Product Game

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SWBAT explain multiplication using an area model in preparation for a quiz.

Big Idea

Students will formulate a list of what is important to remember for a quiz about area models and also practice these skills once more by playing the Greatest Product Game.

Warm Up: Drilling factor pairs for numbers 51-100

10 minutes

 We started out again today with the continuation of listing factor pairs 59,60,61,62,& 63. I am starting every day with reviewing factor pairs from 51-100 because that standard needs to be met before 5th grade. Practice makes perfect. After they finished listing them on their own, I encouraged them to check them with a factor pair calculator.

I am discovering that they are getting quite fluent in figuring the factor pairs using divisibility rules. They are also using factors they know, starting with 25x2 or 30x2 and working from there. This is great thinking! I think the daily practice is really paying off!

This is the first group I have had in the transition of 3 years into CCSS in our district and I am really excited to see their willingness to master this skill!

I had them list the numbers in their notebook in the strategic method I had taught them:


             59              60              61          62            63

           1x59          1x60          1x61        1x62        1x63

                            2 x 30                       2x31         3x21

                            3 x 20                                       7 x 9        

                             5 x 12                                                                             

                            6 x 10                                                                                



Quick Review: Deciding what to remember...

10 minutes


*We have been practicing 2,3 & 4 digit by one digit multiplication using area models for the past 4 days. Students have shown me that they understand  how this method of multiplication works, but I suspect there are still some issues with remembering how to multiply by groups of ten. I expect that those who are weak will have problems multiplying because of weak fact knowledge. I will not be allowing any time tables to be used on the test.

We started our review using Review for Quiz 1 & Greatest Product Game Notebook.

The focus was on the students, because I wanted them to take responsibility for thinking about what they should remember. Each student contributed ideas to the list.

We listed several things to remember. I reminded students to not forget that they are multiplying and they need to think in terms of "groups of" or "rows x columns", because they get caught up in the process and forget the meaning of what they are doing. 

When we finished, we made sure that the list was written in their iPad notes. That way they can review them tonight at home, easily. (They take their iPads home every night.) Below is our copy of our classroom notes.

SB Review for Quiz 1


Brushing up on skills: The Greatest Product Game Begins

30 minutes

WE BOTH got it wrong!.

The Greatest Product Game is an awesome way to get kids to practice their multiplication. I change and modify this game to fit needs of kids very easily! Because it is done with dice, you can use this game in any way that fits your needs. Adjust the dice, adjust the limits, whatever you need to do to fit the student's needs. (The Basic Level Rules are typed up on the SB file in section 2.) I differentiated this game for my mid and high level students. Those rules are below.

Object of the Game: Roll dice and create a 4 digit factor that produces the largest product they can.

Dice: I use 4 of one color and 1 of another. That way they can remember which dice stands for the 1 digit factor. * High end students could use 2 dice for the 1 digit factor and add them together, creating factors larger than 6.

The partners decide what place value they want ( excluding 1 digit)  to practice (up to thousands place).They roll as many dice as are in that place value. Then they roll the 1 die to produce the other factor.

They independently and secretly create the largest number to produce the largest product.

Mid Level to high level rules: Roll up to 5 dice together. Independently create the greatest product up to 4 digit by 1 digit from all five dice. If they choose to start at hundreds place, they still create the greatest factors they can from all 5 dice. These rules increase their thinking and reasoning to a higher level because they have to think about how to manipulate all the numbers.

The person with the greatest product wins! They are to check their work with calculators to determine accuracy. If the person is wrong, the other partner gets the point.

 I partnered my students strategically. Some mid level students needed to be partnered with higher level students to just push them further. I paired one lower end student with a higher level student to help them remember to add their partial products and push them into 4 x1 digit. My extremely low students (2) I placed with one another and had our aide work with them so that they could at least feel mastery of 3x1 digit.


The game began and I heard students comment over and over again about how much fun they were having.Greatest Product Game Also, one student remarked that they could do it at home to practice and get better at multiplying. My aide thought it was a blast too! She could easily help my struggling students and noted that they were having a great time, as well as showing evidence of thinking. This film clip shows how we were adjusting how the game would be played for some students who aced the basic rules.Adjusting to needs.

Another clip shows how these boys were finding their mistakes. The enthusiasm about playing really shows here.Finding our Mistakes

I included this snippet because I love the tone and sound of them trying to explaining what they did wrong. It was fun to hear students be excited about finding mistakes when they compare each other's answer.

WE BOTH got it wrong!.