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Grade 3, Unit Four: Multiplication & Division Patterns & Concepts

In this unit your child will: demonstrate an understanding of multiplication as repeated addition, equal groups, arrays, and skip counting demonstrate an understanding of division as repeated subtraction develop strategies that will help them master multiplication and division facts to 10 x 10 Your child will learn and practice these skills by solving problems like those shown below. Keep this sheet for reference when youre helping with homework. Problem
Solve 9 x 7. Use pictures, numbers, and words to explain your thinking.
10 x 7 = 70 70 7 63 so 9 x 7 = 63 7

By solving basic multiplication problems with pictures and explaining their thinking, students develop strategies that help them quickly recall the multiplication facts by fourth grade. In this example, the student solved 9 x 7 by thinking about 10 x 7, a very easy fact, and then subtracting 1 group of 7. The rectangular array model makes it clear why this strategy works, because students can see the rows of 7 in the array. Eventually, students may recall from memory that 9 x 7 = 63. If they forget, however, they can quickly calculate the product of 9 x 7 using this strategy. Note You will receive a booklet explaining a variety of strategies for solving multiplication facts through 10 x 10. The booklet uses the rectangular array model to show the strategies. In addition to committing the basic multiplication facts to memory, students solve multiplication story problems in this unit. Students need to recognize when it is appropriate to solve problems using multiplication, for example, when dealing with equal groups of objects, as in the problem at left. Before they have mastered their multiplication facts, students may solve such problems with drawings and computational strategies like the one at left. Later, they will recognize that they can multiply to solve such problems and will recall the appropriate multiplication fact (e.g., 4 x 8 = 32) from memory.

I col or ed saw if it woul d be less th an

in a 9 by 7 a r ra y . Th en I w as 10 b y 7, the a re a 70 . But it s o ne r ow of 7 th a t. 70 7 = 63

Joaquin has 4 bags of oranges. Each bag has 8 oranges in it. How many oranges does Joaquin have altogether?

16 32

16

I d rew th e b ags of or a nges . The n I saw tha t tw o b ag s h a ve 16 o ra ng es. And 16 + 16 i s 32 . So 4 x 8 = 32 or a nge s.

Bridges in Mathematics

(Parents and teachers may reproduce for classroom and home use.)

The Math Learning Center

Alicia and her brother made cookies for their neighbors. They made 48 cookies and divided them evenly among 6 families. How many cookies did they give to each family? I th ough t a b out m ultiplica tio n. If each f amily g ot 4 co okie s, th ats 24 co okie s alt og ethe r . 48 is t wice as much as 24, so e ach f amily ca n get 8 c o okies . The n I ad ded u p t o make s ur e. 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 + 8 16 + 16 + 16 32 + 16 = 48 It w o rks . Each famil y go t 8 coo kies .

This student applied what she knew about multiplication to solve this division problem. She didnt know that 48 6 = 8 or that 8 x 6 = 48. However, she did know that 4 x 6 = 24, and she used that knowledge to solve the problem. Finally, she checked her work with repeated addition. Students will eventually know that they can divide to solve problems in which a total is broken into equal groups, and they will be able to quickly recall the basic division facts needed to solve such problems. For now, this students method demonstrates a clear understanding of the relationship between multiplication and division. She also is able to use facts she is comfortable with to solve those she does not yet recall from memory. This students ability to work with what she knows to solve a challenging problem indicates a strong sense of number, solid computational skills, and a productive approach to problem solving.

Q: Why does this unit emphasize the rectangular array model so much? A: We do not expect students to use pictures of rectangles to calculate forever. However, the pictures illustrate relationships among numbers and show why certain procedures work, and the understandings they help to develop are the foundations of students computational skills. In the array model, the dimensions (length and width) of the rectangle represent the two numbers being multiplied. The total area of the rectangle represents the product of those two numbers. When multiplication problems are represented this way, it is easy for students to see the relationships among the numbers and to see why a variety of strategies for finding the total area (product) make sense.
The Array Model One Way to Find the Product Another Way to Find the Product

6 4 24 4 x 6 = 24
4 and 6 are the dimensions (numbers being multiplied). 24 is the area (product).

6 4 12 12 12 + 12 24 4

6 20 20 4 + 4 24

This model shows a group of 20 and 1 more group of 4. 4x6=4x5+4x1 20 + 4 = 24

Q: Why do students solve multiplication problems with different strategies instead of memorizing the facts? A: We expect students to recall basic multiplication facts from memory; in most states, students are expected to master those facts sometime in fourth grade. However, we know that students forget these facts sometimes and that strategies allow them to quickly compute the answers when needed. Some strategies also allow students to calculate mentally with larger numbers.

Bridges in Mathematics

(Parents and teachers may reproduce for classroom and home use.)