How Many Strategies Can You Find…

…to multiply 6 by 14?

We have been continuing our work on multiplication, focusing on arrays, multiples, factors, and using multiple strategies to solve problems.  Here are some photos of our recent math work.



Multiple Perspectives 

Today in class we talked about how the information we learned at the Mission San Juan Bautista field trip was mostly from the Spanish perspective. The learners agreed that learning multiple perspectives is important; in this case, they were interested in hearing and remembering the story of the California Native community. 

To get the other side of the story, we listened to the Bay Curious podcast about the El Camino Real. You can find it part of the way down the page at this link.

Developing a PLP Rubric

As part of our PLP process, learners are working on developing a PLP rubric. To do this, learners explored rubrics for our explorer Coat of Arms and perspective writing pieces. They had rich discussions about how the wording on rubrics can be challenging to understand and also explored the challenges of scoring themselves on those rubrics. In the end, they decided that rubrics can help as a guide to help you do your best work. It was a great way to have an authentic discussion about what makes a good rubric.

Next, learners talked about categories they wanted to include on their PLP rubric. They realized that the rubric categories should be a guide to help them with their learning. They worked together in groups to complete the rubric. Now, we are in the process of sharing out as a class and deciding what we want to include in our final document. img_8175img_8176img_8177

Eating Like a Sailor

Last week, some learners from Room 24 and 25 made hard tack to celebrate the end of our Early European Explorer and Navigational Science unit. We all gave it a taste a week later. It was pretty hard after sitting out for 5 days; we talked about how sailors would have to eat it after sitting out for months! We’ll save some till the end of the year to see what sailor’s food really tasted like. We also sang some sea shanties to celebrate, and talked about how sailors would sing to keep time and to keep their spirits high as they worked.

Multiplication: The Area Model

Many of us learned multiplication through memorization in school, but we weren’t taught to understand it.  I know I didn’t understand it.  I just followed the steps!  In fact, I didn’t understand the algorithm until I became a teacher and started learning the area model. Now, we use the area model to teach multiplication in all the 3/4 classes at Charter.

Sometimes parents are confused or surprised to learn a different method for solving multiplication problems.  Many times parents want understand the different math strategies their learners are working on in the classroom.  Here is a little video I found explaining the benefits of teaching the area model in school.  Hopefully it will help you understand some of our methods and purpose.  (Note: not everyone is ready for this model, yet.  Some learners are still working on building single digit by single digit arrays.  Ultimately, this is what they are working towards.)  Enjoy!