We have finally moved on to our Multiplication Unit! We wasted no time, beginning with multiplying multiples of tens, hundreds, and thousands. Our easy strategy encourages children to do this math mentally. With that in mind, we then practiced estimating products. If the kids can round the largest factor to a multiple of ten, hundred or thousand, then they can make more accurate estimations with ease and again, we are encouraging mental math. Next, we explored ways to solve 2 digit X 1 digit multiplication equations using 3 strategies: Distributive Property, expanded form and partial products. Each of these strategies are prerequsites to the standard algorithm most adults know and love. As a teacher, I want children to understand what the math ACTUALLY is before I encourage shortcuts like the standard algorithm.
Next week, I'll introduce 2-digit X 2-digit multiplication in almost the identical fashion I did this week. The Math Benchmark is Wednesday.
***I am not spending time reviewing basic facts (multiplying factors 0-12). This skill is very necessary to be successful in 4th grade, so if your child is struggling still to remember 6 x 7, it is worth spending some extra time working on those facts at home. If you would like for me to advance Xtramath to multiplication for your child, please shoot me an email and let me know. We can temporarily quit their current track (addition, subtraction, etc) and return to it at a later date.
We finished our unit on energy this week. Students explored electric circuits a bit more with an activity called Pathfinders. We also explored how electricity can create a magnetic field by building our own electromagnets. Then, we read about heat and thermal energy... this particular topic we will come back to when we begin our unit on weather in December. Thursday, we studied for the test. I will hopefully have Friday's test graded and back to you all Wednesday.
Next week, we begin Forces. The Science benchmark is Friday.
Thanks to you all for all of your support and sharing your kiddos with me. They are so much fun to teach!