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Multiplication Standards and Practice

October 13, 2021 | Cindy Kuperus

Third graders have spent the first month of school studying multiplication. Read to find all that has been accomplished in one months’ time!

Students have marked the multiples of 2, 3, 5, 6, and 10 in hundreds charts. They’ve noticed patterns:

  • “The multiples of 2 are all even.”
  • “The multiples of 3 are even, odd, even, odd. They make a diagonal.”

Students are learning that 5 x 4 is 5 groups of 4 and 7 x 3 is 7 groups of 3 (or the reverse). Some students are skip counting, using repeated addition, and drawing pictures to find the products. Others are using one fact to help learn another. For example, “5 x 4 is double 5 x 2,”  or 7 x 3 is the same as 7 x 2 which is 14, plus one more 7 –21!”

They have written story problems, or a “context” for the equations. It helps become proficient in the following mathematical standard:

“Interpret products of whole numbers, e.g., interpret 5 x 7 as the total number of objects in 5 groups of 7 objects each. For example, describe a context in which a total number of objects can be expressed as 5 x 7.”

  • (for 5 x 4) “There are 5 cars, and each have 4 wheels. How many wheels are there in all?”
  • (for 7 x 3) “There are 7 dogs, and each have 3 spots. How many spots are there in all?”

Some contexts are fantastical! Like these:

Another standard is the following: 3.OA.7:

“Fluently multiply and divide within 100. By the end of Grade 3, know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers.”

Students are practicing with flashcards. They help each other learn strategies – such as the ones mentioned above.

There will be a copy of flashcards kept at school, and cards will be sent home next week, too. Your child will practice multiplication facts on Tuesdays and Thursdays for homework. Students need to be fluent with 2s, 5s, and 10s by mid-November, 3s and 4s by mid-March, and the rest by mid-June.

If you have any strategies to teach your child to understand multiplication facts, please pass them along. Maybe we can name a strategy after you!

Cindy Kuperus

Teacher, Grades 3&4

Ms. Kuperus attended a small Lutheran grade school and has always been a student in multi-grade classrooms. She became interested in teaching, in fact, when she would assist classmates when the teacher was busy helping others. Her 5th/6th grade teacher, Mrs. Roman, encouraged her to think broadly about the world beyond their small town (population: 500), giving stickers to those who could answer a question from the World News segment from television the night before. She would be thrilled to learn that Ms. Kuperus has taught internationally in Masaya, Nicaragua, and Chengdu,China.

After graduating from Calvin College, Ms. Kuperus taught students in grades two-six for almost 10 years in Kentwood, Michigan. In 1994, Ms. Kuperus sought a teaching position in a school in the Northeast, anywhere but New Jersey. She’s now taught for over 23 years in NEW JERSEY! Two of her former students, Becca Brasser and Sam Martino, are now on staff at MSS.

Ms. Kuperus loves opportunities to travel, interact with the people, and taste the foods of the world. She’s also a person who ‘travels” with the characters in the books she reads!

It’s important to Ms. Kuperus that people’s voices are heard and that their needs for shelter and food are met. To that end, she volunteers for organizations like First Friends and the Sharing Place.

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