Ms. Davitt’s 3rd grade students at St. Therese North Third are learning multiplication through a variety of hands-on activities. They began with using counters to make set models of diverse groups with the same number of items, for example train cars with a set number of seats in each car (5 train cars with 9 seats=5×9=45). The class transferred the Set Models into drawings of a large circle representing the groups and dots inside the circle indicating the sets.
Then the pupils began to organize the set models into an Array Model. This moved them from clustered sets to rows and columns that are easier to distinguish and count. Finally, the students used square tiles to develop an Area Model to continue practicing multiplication facts.
The Area Model also helped the students to understand the real world skill of finding the area of a rectangle space that might need to be tilled up for a garden or an area that needs carpet. With each new hands-on activity, the students began to grasp multiplication facts. The daily Real-World Problems helped the students to understand how vital multiplication is to everyday activities.