Monday, December 20, 2010

Smart Board Lesson Review: Multiplication

 As in introduction to SMARTBoard lessons, I downloaded a pre-made lesson introducing students to the concept of multiplication.  I thought the lesson was very good. 

The first page gives the basics of the lesson- subject, topic, grade level, learning outcomes, etc.  Page two shows students what they will be doing.  There is a multiplication sentence at the top of the page:  3 x 5 =15.  Below are three circles, each containing five ants.  The directions below the circles instruct students to move the ants to illustrate the number sentence.  The third page is similar to the previous, except that students are expected to illustrate the number sentence “4 x 5 = 20” independently.  The next two pages have multiple number sentences in which students must write the quotient to on the line.  Next to the number sentence is a box.  Once students solve the problem, they can move the box to see the answer.  Slide six contains a dice game.  Students “roll” the two dice to determine the numerals to multiply and then solve the problem. 

I think the lesson overall is a great introduction to the topic.  The one thing I wish was included was an actual lesson plan.  I’d love to see how the teacher is actually introducing the topic and the questions that go along with it.  One problem I see with this activity is that for an introductory lesson, some of the multiplication problems included are difficult- 8 x 8 and 8 x 9 are very difficult for third graders to solve on a first try.  Another thing I would change is the two pages in which students must move images to the circles.  The way the activity is now, students have exactly the right number of images to move.  To me, this seems better suited for an introduction to division.  What would work better is to have student put dots or X’s in the circles and then count them, or to have more than the necessary amount so that students are checking that they are putting the correct number into the circles.  I really like the set-up of the problems on pages 4 and 5 (the box hiding the answer next to the problem).  I think this is a great way for students to attempt problems and self-check.  There is also ample room for students to draw a helpful picture next to the problems.  I love the dice game!  I've played similar games with students on the SMARTBoard during subbing and they love it. What's good about the dice is that the students won't be multiplying anything larger than 6 x 6.

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