29 March 2015

Skip Counting, Repeated Addition, Arrays, Multiplication, Oh My!

How do you get second graders to work harder than they ever have before in math? Just mention the word "multiplication" and suddenly the light bulbs come on! Who knew?
So apparently, multiplication is code for MAJOR coming of age in which 2nd graders will suddenly catch on faster than they have to nearly a YEAR'S worth of addition and subtraction practice. I was seriously impressed with my kiddos!

So how exactly did I teach my sweet seconds to understand the CONCEPT (our time with multiplication was NOT for the purposed of rote memorization...we were strictly focusing on conceptual understanding) of multiplication? I planned to spend 2 weeks on multiplication. Like we start pretty much any new concept, I started with what my students already knew...skip counting!

Day 1 - Skip Counting
  • Why is skip counting helpful
  • What are some real-like things that can be skip counted (my students came up with eyes, nostrils, packs of markers, shoes, fingers, hands {body parts lend themselves well to this}, feet, legs, toes, pencils, dog legs, and lots more)
  • We practiced skip counting by identifying the rule, and then giving 4 numbers that follow the rule
My kiddos used this individual skip counting "boards" I made by just printing on cardstock and laminating, and then used dry erase markers. Sometimes I would give my kids just the "rule" and they would have to give an examples. Sometimes, I gave them just two numbers, and they would have to finish skip counting AND tell what the rule was.

Day 2 - Skip Counting and Equal Groups
  • We continued to practice skip counting, but extended our conversation into recognizing that when we skip count, we had equal groups of whatever we were skip counting.
  • My kiddos practiced skip counting with partners - they would take turns thinking of a rule, or showing skip counting and then their partner would have to show the missing info
Love that based on student partnerships, the practice is differentiated. The group above worked in the thousand's, while other groups worked with smaller numbers.
Days 3 and 4 - Equal Groups and Repeated Addition
  • We used what we knew about skip counting, and our discussion about equal groups to model repeated addition.
  • There was LOTS of guided practice. It took a few times to catch on, but man, once they caught on...there was no stopping!
 I like to use my smart board to display our guided practice problems. And, the kiddos loved the equal group pictures I used. We're easily entertained :) Here was my method for questioning:
  1. How many groups are there? Circle the groups.
  2. How many in each group? Count the objects in each group.
  3. How can we use repeated addition to show the total? 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 = 8
  4. How can we write a multiplication sentence to match the repeated addition sentence? 4 (groups) x 2 (in each group) = 8
I may or may not have used my laminating to have my sweets write a repeated addition sentence! haha! It's real life practice, right?

The next part of our multiplication journey involved making the jump to arrays! We discussed columns and rows (far easier than I thought it would be!). Because I knew arrays were a new concept, we spend the remainder of our multiplication journey with arrays. 
My kiddos LOVED arrays, and we practiced arrays in lots of different ways! Take a look in the pictures below!
We ended our multiplication journey with Sticker Arrays! My kiddos LOVED these! I laid out lots of different stickers (hello, power of choice!), and then my sweets made their own arrays using stickers. They had to describe their array using rows and columns, repeated addition, and multiplication.
Such a fun, and great way to tell if my students understood the concept by applying it on their own!

As a fun wrap-up, I placed cards around the room, and my students were able to move around finding cards, and recording a matching repeated addition sentence and a multiplication sentence. We like to MOVE IT
Does your class like to move around too? Grab the above cards here!

In your district, when are students introduced to the concept of multiplication

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1 comment

  1. So glad I found your blog from the TPT Seller Challenge! I am now following you! Loved this post on multiplication! I am tutoring this summer and after reading this I bought your unit! Can't wait to use it with my tutor kids and in my own class!


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