Friday, September 28, 2012

Breaking Apart Numbers in Multiplication

A student's list of combinations she's still working on
Breaking apart a number using arrays as a visual

Breaking apart a number using arrays as a visual
What we did this week was go through our basic facts and determine which ones we know quickly, and the ones with which we still need some practice. We made a list of those we're still working on, and came up with ways to "get" to that answer. For example, if 12 x 9 is still a struggle, we could think of it as (12 x 6) + (12 x 3). We made the arrays to go with the problem, which made visualizing the strategy a little easier.

If a student can visualize breaking apart a number for basic multiplication, it's going to make his life much easier when we get to 2-digit by 2-digit multiplication. It's so important for the kids to understand the place value involved in larger multiplication, and learn to make their numbers work for them. Flexibility with numbers is a HUGE concept to grasp, and it has arguably the greatest impact on the success of a mathematician!!!!!!