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Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Equal Groups for Multiplication

I have had a wonderful Christmas and Boxing Day - eating far too much food and having lots of laughs with friends and family. I hope you have had a great one too.

My nieces and I were having some difficulty sharing out the red and green M&Ms evenly. I am not sure why, but it *may* be something to do with my love for all things chocolate. And green. 


It reminded me of how much trouble my students have, when I introduce 'multiplication'.

Getting them to truly understand the idea of 'groups of' takes a long time.We go over and over the concept, but it takes LOTS of patience. 

I made a game that will help you reinforce the concept of equal groups and understanding 'groups of'. Students do not need to worry about finding the total, they just focus on reading the problem, and finding a visual that matches. You will be able to clearly see which students understand what the sentence (e.g. 3 groups of 2) is telling them to create/imagine. 

As well as playing the game, you can also use the picture cards for a quick classroom activity. 

Hold each up for a few seconds and have your students tell you how many groups are depicted on each card. This quick drill will only take a minute or so and will help your students to start to look for "groups" rather than individual items or totals. I have a tray of these sorts of teacher flash/drill cards when I teach Kindergarten and they make great lesson transitions and breaks. Of course, you will want to use these only when you have introduced the idea of equal groups to your students.

You can also use the cards for other activities, like having the students replicate the groups using blocks or counters at their desks. This will help them to learn to hold a mental picture/image of a number or pattern in their mind.

You can also put the cards in a center or maths group and ask students to find the total, find matching pairs, copy the groups etc.



The packet also comes with a cut and paste worksheet that students can complete after they play the game. 


Find it at TpT, by clicking on the image below!



Have a great day my friends, and thanks for talking the time to stop by. Now... where did I put those M&Ms.....?

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