Room 207

Room 207
Yahoo! Here we go 4th graders!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Understanding 4th grade Multiplication

Multiplication today is different from the way that many adults learned it.  The focus is on a strong foundation of understanding place value.  Students learn how to "break apart" large numbers into more manageable numbers to multiply by.  For example, when multiplying 637 we divide it into hundreds, tens and ones as shown below.   This is the expanded form.

We also learn the traditional algorithm, but now the students understand the numbers that are carried.

When multiplying a 2-by-2 digit number, we break the numbers up first.  For example, 26 becomes 20 and 6 and 34 becomes 30 and 4. Then we draw "a box" and figure out the 4 equations that would multiply each number.  These are the partial products.  Finally, we add the partial products to find the final product.

Common fourth grade mistakes are:
        1. Creating the 4 correct equations.
        2. Basic multiplication fact errors.
        3. Making mistakes in addition.  
Ways to help:
        1. Reminding students that their equations should always                have a number from the top and one from the side.
        2. Helping them with basic multiplication by encouraging                them to do REFLEX or other fact games.
        3. Being sure that they line up their numbers correctly when            adding.
        4. Asking if their answer is reasonable by rounding the                original equation.
        5. Practice!
These will certainly assist in success with multiplication of larger numbers.

Please ask your child to explain how they are multiplying. Allowing them to be the teacher will reinforce skills learned in class and help you to understand how they are learning.

Friday, January 9, 2015

What's The Matter?

We have kicked off our unit on matter with an interesting quest.  The students explained what they think they know yesterday about the topic and also came up with some rules for the three states of matter, which are solid, liquid, and gas.  Today Mr. Musselman joined us with 6 cups filled with a mystery matter.  Using the rules that we came up with yesterday, we tried to figure out if our mystery matter was a solid, a liquid, or a gas and then we presented it to the class.  It got a little messy, but we definitely had fun!
Next week, Mr. Musselman will be back for some more interesting exploration.  We can't wait!

Pillow Pets for a Good Cause

I have run the past 3 Boston Marathons for Massachusetts General Hospital to raise funds in the fight against pediatric cancer. This year the Student Council is helping to give back by hosting a Pajama Day for Pillow Pets on Friday, January 16th.  Please consider helping this cause by donating at least $1 on or before Friday of next week.
During February vacation I will bring the Pillow Pets that we are able to purchase with the pajama day funds to Mass. General and give them to the children that our marathon team runs for.  Trust me, the smiles are HUGE when the kids see the pets!  These Pillow Pets are comfortable and provide a sense of home to kids who spend a considerable amount of time in the hospital.  We appreciate your support!