Bonsai, Word Study, & Multi-Digit Multiplication

Hello, division 4 families!

Today in Social Studies, we connected to our unit on Japanese Canadian interment with an extension into the world of Bonsai and the related symbolism. We read aloud and discussed a beautiful book called “The Peace Tree of Hiroshima” that told the true story of how Japan gifted America a collection of sacred bonsai trees as a gift for their 200 year anniversary—an acknowledgement of the peace between the countries since WWII. I shared my own journey with making bonsai and we watched videos about the meaning of this art form.

During our Language Arts “word study” lesson today, students wrote creative sentences to express the meaning of their top ten most challenging spelling words.

Today in Math we also began our unit on multi-digit multiplication by reviewing previous grade content and then by giving a look to what grade 4 and 5 math curriculum covers in this area.

A goal for the end of term 2 is that grade 4s will be able to multiply 1-digit by up to 4-digits and grade 5s will be able to multiply up to 3-digits by 3-digits. We will be seeking to strengthen our multiplication facts recall and to solve parts of questions with mental math where possible.

Students will be supported to learn and practice the traditional algorithm (a.k.a. the regrouping method) if they like because many of our Div. 4 students already know and use this method successfully. However, we will diversify our approach and foster number sense by using the distributive property and solving by breaking up numbers, using arrays, using the box/window method (area model) and partial products method—and using lattice multiplication for those who show solid number sense and want to try a cool challenge! I will help students sufficiently explore all methods to empower them to decide which method works best for their learning style.

I encourage all students to spend 5-minutes about 3 or 4 times per week reviewing multiplication facts up to 100 at home. (Tip: Try searching up and watching “Multiplication Facts” song videos on YouTube for fun—or make up your own song!)

Here is a sneak peak at some of the multiplication strategies we will explore…

Distributive Property

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