Reflection: Staircase of Complexity In & Out Box - Section 3: Student Practice


I tired to build a gradual staircase of complexity, to aid student understanding. During the guided practice, we started by solving 24 x 5 and worked our way up to more challenging problems (137 x 2 and 784 x 6). Looking back, I wish I would have started with even easier numbers, such as 5 x 11 and 8 x 12. This way students may have developed a better understanding of the in and out box method prior to applying it to more challenging problems. 

This also proved to be one of the most difficult strategies for multiplying for my students. Here is an example of a student who was Confusing Adding and Multiplying. Through student to student discourse and student-teacher conferencing, most students were eventually successful with this strategy. 

Now I realize how much students were engaged in Math Practice 2: Reason abstractly and quantitatively. Instead of finding partial products using an array (representation), students were having to reason with numbers using the properties of an in and out box.

  Staircase of Complexity: Gradually Increasing Rigor
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In & Out Box

Unit 11: Multiplication: Single-Digit x Multi-Digit
Lesson 6 of 8

Objective: SWBAT multiply single-digit x multi-digit numbers using the in & out box method.

Big Idea: Students should be able to solve and illustrate multiplication problems using multiple strategies.

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Math, Number Sense and Operations, multiplication, in and out box, standard algorithm
  100 minutes
student whiteboard 784 x 6
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