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Now That's a Problem

Students will improve multiplication skills by skip counting and creating their own multiplication word problems.

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Now That's a Problem

Task

Recent studies have shown that students who know their multiplication tables are much better at math later in school and life. The Mathematix Book Company wants to begin creating interactive storybooks that teach multiplication to the general public. It has asked your class to come up with prototype books for multiplication by 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, 5’s, and 6’s.

Engage

Introduce the concept of skip counting to your students. A fun way to get them excited about skip counting and to practice their skills is to play with a rubber ball. Have the students take turns bouncing the ball and counting off by 2’s, 5’s, 10’s, etc.

Explain that skip counting is another way to multiply. Once the students have an understanding of skip counting, read Bunches and Bunches of Bunnies by Louise Mathews. This book explains the concept of multiplication using pictures.

Ask your students to illustrate this word problem:

Have the students share their pictures in small groups. Encourage them to notice that while the pictures are different, they still have the same numbers in them. Post them on the wall as examples.

Next, have students practice identifying numbers in pictures and writing multiplication word problems. Project Wixie or Pixie on a screen and insert the rain cloud sticker.

Continue this process with a few other Stickers. As an entire class, brainstorm everyday objects that work for multiplication word problems.

Ask the students to find an object at home that could be part of a multiplication word problem. When you meet again, have each student share their object with the rest of the class. You may even want to ask them to bring the object to school.

Create

Let students know they will be working in small teams to create interactive storybooks that teach multiplication through word problems. Assign students to small groups and give each group a number series (2’s, 3’s, 4’s) appropriate for their multiplication skill level.

Each team’s book should have a page for each multiplication word problem. You might want students to create two pages for each problem, the first one containing the problem, and the second one containing the problem and the answer.

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Give each team a four-pane storyboard to help them develop the pages of their book. Have students write a multiplication problem in each of the panes.

Next, have each team explore the stickers library to find images they can use for each multiplication problem. Have them write down the name of the sticker (or a description) and write the text of their multiplication word problem in each box on their storyboard.

Before students begin building their book, create a folder where students can save their pictures.

Share

Once the students have completed their problems, have each team print a copy of their book. Share the books with your school's librarian to place in the library for other students to use as reference material.

You can also use the Import Pages feature to collect all of the books into one file. Then, you might consider exporting as a PDF or ePub file to share as an electronic book.

Word Problem Sample

Assessment

Assess basic multiplication skills from students’ skip counting ability and from other multiplication activities you use during the lesson. You can evaluate students’ skill at visualizing multiplication using their illustrated word problems.

Create your own rubric for free at rubric-maker.com

The stickers each team chooses, their storyboard, and the multiplication problem they create will give you insight into how well they understand that word problems are just different forms of math problems.

Resources

Matthews, Louise. Bunches and Bunches of Bunnies. ISBN: 0590447661

Napoli, Donna J. and Richard Tchen. Corkscrew Counts: A Story About Multiplication. ISBN: 0805076646

Counting by 2's http://www.aaamath.com/cnt13b1-countby2.html

Counting by 5's http://www.aaamath.com/g25f2-countby5.html

Standards

Common Core Standards for Math:

Number & Operations in Base Ten Standard

Understand Place Value

2.NBT.2. Count within 1000; skip-count by 5s, 10s, and 100s.

Use place value understanding and properties of operations to perform multidigit arithmetic

3.NBT.3. Multiply one-digit whole numbers by multiples of 10 in the range 10-90 (e.g., 9 x 80, 5 x 60) using strategies based on place value and properties of operations.

Measurement & Data Standard

Represent and interpret data

3.MD.3. Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one- and two-step "how many more" and "how many less" problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs.

Common Core Anchor Standards for English Language Arts - Grade K-5

Writing Standards

Text Types and Purposes

2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

NETS for Students:

Creativity and Innovation

Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students:

a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.

Communication and Collaboration

Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Students:

b. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats.

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Using Creative Tech in Elementary Math

New approaches to math improve fluency through the use of creative technology tools.

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