Thursday, February 17, 2011

Multiplication Station

Today I launched a new initiative, focusing on improving mental math skills when it comes to multiplication. We did a great activity with cards as a way of assessing where students are "at", and I was very pleased with the results. We talked about why it is important to be able to do mental math (particularly simple multiplication facts) and discussed ways to recall these facts without just relying on rote memorization. I sent home a handout with ideas and tips about this a few months ago, something that several students tell me they have been using on a regular basis. Glad to hear it!

If you need any other ideas, please search "multiplication" in the blog's Search Box, and it should link you to a number of other entries I have posted in the past months. There are also games and helpful sites linked on the right sidebar. In the interest of increasing the focus on multiplication, I have replaced the ever-popular "Journal de Lecture" with a "Journal de Multiplication". Students will have one question per day to solve at home, starting with very easy problems and getting more challenging as we go along. Today's question asks students to draw "2 X 3", 3 different ways. We solved this problem using different numbers today already, so I don't anticipate any issues.

Thanks to all parents who have sent in extra exercise books over the last couple of weeks, it's a great help. Students are accumulating written work at an increasing rate, so we are starting to run out.

All students have chosen a book for their book reports this month; final presentations will be on March 2nd. I have asked students to finish their 200+ words by Tuesday. I will be giving more time than usual to work on these in class, since February's book reports will be a key component of my grading for the upcoming report cards.


Sadly, yes. I am happy to say that I have seen students' interest levels, abilities and effort increase in leaps and bounds, so I am looking forward to documenting their progress again. If you have any concerns or questions leading up to this key time of year, please contact me so we can meet or talk if you would like.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns, and have a good evening.

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