October 8, 2015
In math this week the fifth graders have been working on multiplication strategies. We have studied the area model, partial products, and using prime factorizations. The purpose of learning these strategies is to develop a deep understanding of what multiplication means, and to develop an intuitive understanding of the distributive property.
Later in the year we will learn the "standard U.S. algorithm." We hold off teaching it now until these other concepts are in place. Students taught the algorithm too soon often do not learn to use it correctly and to recognize nonsense solutions.
Don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like to learn these strategies first hand!